A leader describes what it takes to succeed at University

A conversation I’ve had often is how do you have student leaders who can facilitate with so little training? It’s really a bigger question: How do you find great people?

Well, you look for passion. We all know that. But even so, I’m still sometimes incredibly awed at the way my leaders demonstrate that passion, and how much they care for the needs of the students in their care. They really do get student engagement and they really are passionate about it. This session report from a leader talking about how he struggles to engage extroverts demonstrates this perfectly:

Q: Students lead in U:PASS for a wide variety of reasons – to mentor, to gain leadership skills, to improve communication skills, to get educational experience, to see what it’s like working for UTS.  What’s something you feel you have gained in one (or more) of these areas over the last fortnight? Why? (You may also choose another area if you wish!) 🙂

A: It’s only in this last week struck me that what you do when engaging with introverts is so different to what to do when dealing with extroverts! I feel that I can catch and hold the attention of introverts and provide value, but I’m struggling so much to do the same for students on the extroverted side of the spectrum. I feel that every time leave students feeling disconnected or unengaged, I’m wasting an immense opportunity – so many students don’t readily volunteer to study (show commitment), ask questions (show vulnerability), and excel in the face of adversity (show perseverance/resilience/determination).

What insight into student engagement!! Students need commitment, vulnerability, perseverance, resilience and determination.  

 

How old is this leader, you ask?

22. This leader is 22.

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About Georgina Barratt-See

Georgina manages the UTS U:PASS (UTS Peer Assisted Study Success) program, which assists students in 50 first and second year subjects with study sessions run by trained student facilitators. Georgina has 14 years experience in the Higher Education sector with interests in student leadership, mentoring, first year experience, teaching and learning.

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