Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone’s year is off to a great start and we are all getting ready for the new semester to start! I wanted to write a blog post about something a little different this month; an opportunity usually offered at colleges that some students are not aware of: leadership development programs.

In my time at the College of Charleston, I’ve participated in two different leadership development programs. I’ve had my personal leadership skills developed through various campus roles, but my leadership style and knowledge has been refined and bettered by participating in development programs.

I have participated in programs that have allowed me to meet community leaders in Charleston which were incredibly eye-opening. Having the opportunity to meet people who helped create some of the beauty and fun that makes me love Charleston was a very formative experience. I have also had the opportunities to specifically meet business leaders not only in Charleston, but all across the East Coast. The advice that they give has been extremely helpful in trying to develop a leadership style of my own and I have tried to apply these lessons to other roles in my life.

So to high school seniors who already have decided on a school… Research your school! Try to find programs offered like this at your school. If you have a program, set your sights on it, and start making yourself a competitive candidate! If you are a high school junior, maybe look for schools that offer programs like this. If a school wants you to grow outside of the classroom as well, you are probably going to have a great all-around experience (which is what we all want).

I hope that this advice has been useful to you all! If you have any questions about what to expect in a leadership program, please let me know. I cannot speak highly enough of these programs and of the opportunities that I have been so fortunate to experience as a result of them!