Graduating Wilson Leadership Fellows Look Back

Some wonderful fellows took some time to reflect on their time in the Wilson Leadership Program!

Cal Shelton– My time in the Wilson Leadership Program has made the biggest impact on how I view leadership. When I first started at Hampden-Sydney College, I had the preconceived notion that leadership took one form—outspoken individuals with tons of charisma. The reality is that leadership is a deep and complex field. A true leader understands their strengths and weaknesses; whether they are extrovert or introvert does not matter. Understanding yourself and how to get the best out of others with your unique abilities is what it takes to be a leader. Furthermore, the complexity of leadership is not just one’s ability to get people to do stuff in a charming way. Leadership is being a servant. It is dedicating yourself to your craft and helping others. It is not always convenient or glamourous, which is why we so desperately need thoughtful and understanding leaders in this world. The Wilson Leadership Fellows program helped me grow as an individual exponentially, and it helped me expand my view on how I can best make a lasting impact in this world in service to others.  

Coleman Meadows– My experience as a Wilson Leadership Fellow has been outstanding to say the least. I have been exposed to various upstanding leaders and citizens that have taught me the importance of servant leadership, meaning-seeking, and how to implement strategic initiatives for organizations. Because of my overlap as a Wilson Fellow and leadership in public interest minor, I am more than prepared to step into my career as a school psychologist.  

MK Johnston– What I appreciated most during my four years with the Wilson Fellows Leadership program were the countless seminars and programs that were not solely on leadership but focused on developing my personality, character, and mentality. This development enabled me to better craft my leadership capabilities to take on the world by enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. Looking back when I came in as a freshman and looking at myself now as a senior, I have grown as a student, person, and leader. The program exposed me to valuable qualities about public speaking, leadership characteristics, and team-building exercises, just to name a few. Because of one-on-one mentorship opportunities, networking occasions, and help with internships, the Wilson Fellows Leadership Program has put me in a position to continue to be a successful student, person, and leader.  

Ian Lichacz– Being able to learn from the legacy of General Sam was one of the most rewarding parts of this program. He was a true servant leader, and that is something I have now adopted into my own leadership style. The four-year program gave me not only access to top-tier leadership coaches but also top-tier leaders from a variety of fields. From my time with these leaders and coaches, I have been able to see myself grow as a leader. I have come to terms with the fact that leadership is not this simple idea that a leader tells followers what to do. It is much more complex than that: from picking the right leadership styles to knowing what the most ethical decision is to make as a leader. If it was not for my time in the Wilson Leadership Program, I know I would have struggled with various aspects of leadership as I get ready to start my professional career and life as a future public servant.