By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor
The Leadership Institute at Texas State University is a program that works to provide students with the skills to understand their role as successful members in society, the responsibilities they have and the impact they can make in the community around them. It also informs students about different leadership opportunities that are available at Texas State. Last semester, I had the opportunity to be a part the Leadership Institute’s Capstone Program: Step Forward, Give Back, or Capstone, which is geared towards junior, senior and graduate campus leaders.
The program would take place for seven Fridays during the semester and would be from 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. and since I had no Friday classes, I was available. After reading the description of what would be discussed at the program, I was sold. Although all of the topics mentioned peaked my interest, the topic about managing change stood out to me the most.
Since the results of the last election, negative change is something that many are worried about, including myself. I was privileged to be in Capstone while the results of the election were announced because I was in a room where different ideas and beliefs were welcomed. This fact helped me realize what presence I needed to have in a society that was extremely heated and unpredictable.
The environment of free flowing ideas is what I appreciated most about being in Capstone. Finding people who are willing to actively engage in a conversation that listens to all points without becoming hostile or agitated can be difficult, but I knew every Friday I would be able to talk about my ideas and opinions in an open conversation. Since this was the tone throughout the entire program, it really allowed me to learn from my peers and more about myself.
Capstone was a driving force in defining the message that I want to send as a leader. Having the opportunity to listen to the ideas around me with an open mind enabled me to learn about how I am as a peer and as a leader. The students that were in this program taught me about the type of leader that I want to be and the type of message I want to send through my actions in my hobbies and career.
Too often you might hear about leaders and the way they talk about their ideals, when their philosophies don’t quite match their actions. Capstone zeros in on what students can do in order to make sure that they are working for what they believe in and help solidify the message their character sends to others. With the support of personality checks and learning about the types of leadership styles, participants can expect to learn about themselves and how important their impact is on others.
While it does call for a large time commitment, it was definitely worth it. All of the information that is presented throughout the course of the program is very valuable and applicable. Also, free lunch is offered at every session. Anyone who wants to learn more about themselves as leaders or would like to be introduced to others who also work hard for what they believe in, would benefit from being in Capstone. The speakers who offer their professional perspective on different areas in leadership makes students aware of personal responsibility in their clubs, friendship circles and community.
The applications for Capstone’s spring session are available now. They are due Feb. 10.
Featured image by Kimberly Garcia.