by Shannon Conway
“What do you want to do after you graduate?” is a question most college students dread answering. As a 21-year-old junior at High Point University (High Point, NC) one of my greatest accomplishments of this spring semester has been discovering a more concrete answer to this question. After completing Staub Leadership’s ‘Helping Individuals Lead Successfully’ (HILS) program, I know that leadership development and training is a field I am excited to pursue after May 2017.
Going through the HILS training as a college student was an incredible opportunity. Although the training is geared towards adults in leadership positions within their companies, I found that I was able to get just as much out of the experience as everyone else, despite being the youngest one in the room. Even though the seven other participants in the room had 10 – 40 years of life experience on me, I was still treated with respect and as an equal, which gave me the confidence to voice my opinions, and feel comfortable in the group.
The most impactful exercise we did was to clarify our purpose in life. Yeah…that’s a pretty big deal! We worked in small groups and took turns helping each other finalize our purpose statements. We really concentrated and thought about each and every word in our purpose statements, until we were each happy with the final product. It was a surreal moment to be 21 years old, and know what my purpose for the rest of my life was! Not only did I find my purpose, but also I was able to help three other people discover what their purpose in life is. It’s crazy to think that that is something we are capable of, guiding someone to his or her life’s purpose. After that exercise, I felt empowered, excited, and ready to take on the world!
I have been able to apply almost everything I learned at the HILS training to situations in my everyday life. I have new conflict resolution skills, a better understanding of who I am, tools to more deeply understand others, a purpose for my life, and a new passion for leadership training. I am ecstatic to be interning with Staub Leadership this semester and to have Dusty as my mentor. With his passion and knowledge of leadership, it’s easy to see how he has helped me to find my answer to that dreaded college student question of “What next?” With purpose as my compass, and useful tools to navigate the terrain, I’m far more prepared for the journey ahead.