Connections: Branching Out

Something we learn day in and day out as apart of the Leadership Institute on campus is the importance of networking with a variety of people. The Connections Conference our LAS Cohort was required to attend did just that in a 2 day long conference at the Great Wold Lodge Resort in Traverse City, Michigan.

Here we were placed into groups with other student leaders on campus to talk about our different involvements and what brought us to the conference. The weekend was filled with different opportunities to connect with peers, gain new outlooks on leadership though a variety of speakers and workshops, and of course, a little time to play in the waterpark at night.

While I was there I attended 4 different Educational sessions, but one in particular stuck with me. This one was called Happy Hour, and was actually given by one of our own Leadership Institute staff members who works very closely with our cohort, Jesi Ekonen. This workshop was all about not focusing on being recognized by others, but instead how you recognize other people in your life. She talked about the unique corporate culture that Zappo’s implements into their everyday work environment, and how building happiness around you will ultimately lead to your own happiness.

I also attended workshops on creating productive free time, growing your goals, and how Disney has implemented a plethora of leadership qualities into their characters. The experience was very eye opening to all the areas I still have room to grow in as a leader, along with all of the opportunities on campus that I wasn’t aware of before going to the conference.

I was able to grow friendships, build character, and have fun all in an educational setting and for that I am so thankful. I recommend the Connections Conference to anyone who thinks they may be interested, and I hope to one day help and facilitate so that I am able to make sure everyone who attends has as significant of an experience as I was granted.

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