Student Spotlight Summer Edition: Rachel Smith

I've learned that being successful in leadership requires being resilient to the ever-changing circumstances and the ability to effectively interact with different types of people.

March 24, 2017

Atlanta, GA

Rachel Smith became involved with LEAD in the Spring of 2015 when she was selected as a coachee for the Leading Edge One-on-One Leadership Coaching program.  Rachel is a second-year student majoring in Industrial Engineering and is working as a Maverick at University House Midtown, a new student apartment building at the edge of campus that is slated to open this fall.  We were intrigued by her unique position and wanted to learn a little more about how she has applied what she learned in one-on-one leadership coaching.  Here is what she told us:

1.  Where are you this summer and what are you doing (ex: studying abroad, internship, teaching, summer classes, FASET leader, etc.)? Please describe your context and why you chose this path for the summer.

I am in Atlanta working as a Maverick at University House Midtown, which is a new off-campus apartment building. While the building is being built, the Maverick team is tying up loose ends. We are making sure all the information for the incoming residents is properly processed. We also have started planning events designed to foster a sense of community in the new building.

 

2.  What are some ways that leadership plays a role in what you are doing this summer?

Our Maverick team consists of four people, who were chosen based on their different leadership styles. We have over 700 new residents that we are planning events for, which is a huge responsibility given the ratio. We serve as the liaison between the residents and corporate. We also have the responsibility of going out to the community to get sponsorships from businesses to make our events even better.

 

3.  In what way are you/were you involved with LEAD? And how has your LEAD involvement helped you with your summer leadership experience?  In other words, were there valuable insights gained or lessons learned from your LEAD involvement that has been useful to you this summer?

I was a coachee in the Leading Edge Program. I have been using some of the leadership tips I got from the Leading Edge program in communicating my ideas with the other Mavericks and being receptive to their ideas. I learned that I can't always make everyone happy, and I am seeing that as we are trying to plan events for the first week of move-in. A large group of our students living in the apartment building is going to have recruitment that week, so even though it'd be ideal to postpone the awesome events we have planned for welcome week to the following week where everyone can participate, I know that we need to plan the events for those who will be there. We are going to be adaptable.

 

4.  What has been the most rewarding part of your summer? What has been the most challenging?

The most rewarding part of my summer has been getting to know the other Mavericks. There is never a dull moment in the office. I have also enjoyed getting to see the building get finished step by step. The most challenging part of my summer has been dealing with construction issues, time delays, and streamlining resident processes.

 

5.  What do you know now that you didn’t know before you ventured into your summer leadership experience?

I've learned that being successful in leadership requires being resilient to the ever-changing circumstances and the ability to effectively interact with different types of people.

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Mindy Kao