I vaguely remember the first quarter of my MBA career. It went by so quickly, yet seemed to take such a long time. Former Alumni Association President Eddie Pasatiempo put that first quarter in perspective for me, “It’s like spending three minutes…under water.” Starting an MBA program happens only once, and it’s the kind of experience you don’t fully grasp while it is happening. This is part of the reason I was so intrigued by the opportunity to be a Leadership Fellow, a second year student who works with a core group in the first year class as they deal with the complexities and challenges of the first quarter of business school.
Over the course of my first year at the Foster School of Business my fellow second year students proved themselves to be an indispensible part of my learning experience. Though some of them were younger than me, they were full of information about how the program worked, life in Seattle, the dynamics of a team in stressful situations and the dangers that lurked ahead in the first quarter of business school. An important question for the Class of ‘13 is how to tap into the resources of the Class of ‘12. When I first showed up at school, it was my Leadership Fellow that provided the initial window into the class of second years and the Fellows continued to provide great support throughout the school year.
– This year the Leadership Fellows program is different from past years. Previously, the Leadership Fellow was responsible for guiding a team through the quarter and a Leadership Coach was responsible for guiding its individual members through personal development plans. This year the fellows must mentor first year students on their personal development plans and the Leadership Coaches offer the Fellows advice on how to take on that role. This means not only watching team dynamics, but sitting with students individually and helping them not only outline their goals for business school, but also come up with a plan to achieve those goals.
There are two distinct aspects of the Fellows program this year and in both – watching team dynamics and assisting in a personal development plan – the Fellows get an insider’s perspective without actually being inside. It is an opportunity to mentor, to coach, to teach and to learn about what it means to be a leader. Foster is a small community and the Fellows program is an important step in students reaching their goals and becoming great leaders and ambassadors for the Foster brand.
~Guest Blogger, Lee Sherman, Full-Time Class of 2012, and Leadership Fellow
More information about the Leadership Fellow program can be found here