By Career Advising Fellow, Danielle Golinski
Big things are happening in the Student Professional Development Center! Presentations are in full swing in addition to the myriad of student appointments and meetings (all of which have been truly wonderful and educational). Speaking of presentations, Amber and I recently did a StrengthsQuest Workshop for Elon’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program. Co-faciliating a presentation that neither of us have done before was quite nerve-wracking, so we spent plenty of time developing an outline, pulling together resources and talking with the SPDC staff to gain feedback. Relying on our assessment training, our StrengthsQuest certification, and our unique Top 5 strengths we entered the presentation with confidence. For me, my top strength of Positivity shined big and bright, and to let me know that it was going to be a great Learning experience where I would have the opportunity to Relate to others.
The presentation included an engaging group of 15 students (and future leaders), who fully participated in our activities and conversation. The students asked questions, conversed and challenged each other, and took the opportunity to learn more about themselves. It was a high energy, moving about the room presentation, and Amber and I could not have been happier.
One of the most educational aspects of the presentation happened post the event. Amber and I were provided with feedback from the students regarding our style of presenting, what they learned and if it was relevant to the development of their leadership, things they could take away from the presentation and things that they would like to learn more about. I have learned that much of the work that we do as fellows, doesn’t receive immediate feedback, especially from presentations and workshops, so I printed off the feedback that was given and placed the email into my “Happy Thoughts” folder. Still, although we receive positive support and feedback from our supervisor and fellow staff members on a daily basis (which we are so appreciative of), it is always nice to hear good things from the students that we interact with. It gives us confirmation that the work we are doing is being recognized. Overall, the students were very impressed with our presentation. They recognized our high energy, structure of the conversation, clarification of material throughout, and participation engagement. Additionally, the students found the information relevant and worthwhile towards their professional development while learning about themselves as a leader. One of the best quotes from the group was, “(the presentation was) relevant to helping us build leadership by realizing our strengths.” On the other side of the coin, some students left with questions after the presentation, as we actually had run out of time and were not able to talk in depth about all of the information we wanted to share because the students were so engaged. I guess, that’s an okay problem to have!
Reflecting on this feedback, although it is always nice to hear, reconfirmed that the work I (we) are doing is good and strong. It shows that our passion and our mission of our fellowship is being received well by others. And, now, when offered another opportunity to present a similar topic, I have a better idea of where to work harder on. This fellowship, I have learned, is always a learning in progress! I accept this challenge!