Saturday, Oct. 20 marks the third annual Campus and Community Involvement sponsored Student Leadership Conference. The theme for the event, which was primarily organized by a four-member conference crew comprised of students Laura Sandling, Alex Milbert, Brian Hines and Maria Cristina Ortegon, is “The Future is Bright.” It aims to help students develop leadership skills that will help at Trinity and beyond.
“The conference is really to help students expand their leadership skills to the world outside of Trinity and to show them what to look for outside of college. We’re emphasizing the idea that we are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Milbert, a sophomore with a double major in business and sociology. Milbert and Hines are responsible for the marketing of the event.
During the four-hour conference on Saturday, there will be four hour-long time blocks in which participants will rotate through different events that work on various skill sets.
“There are three focuses: leadership as related to our world, leadership as related to gender and leadership guidance that is more alumni-based and gives students the opportunity to connect with alumni over their leadership experiences,” Milbert said.
Another aspect of the conference is acknowledgement of the importance of following skills in addition to leadership skills.
“Part of being a good leader is the ability to be a good follower as well, and to be able to generally work well with peers is very important,” said Sandling, a senior with a double major in communication and sociology. Sandling is responsible for the logistics of the event.
Although Sandling was unable to attend last year’s conference, several of her friends participated, which is the reason why she decided to apply to be part of the conference crew.
“I wasn’t able to go last year, but I know students who did and really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, and I knew from that that I wanted to be a part of it—a part of giving students the opportunity to learn more about their future selves, specifically in terms of leadership,” Sandling said.
This year, central to the conference is an emphasis on connecting with alumni and learning from their experiences.
“The alumni are there to encourage students about the possibility of success post-grad. We’re arranging a lunch portion of the conference in which the alumni get to actually converse with students on a much more relaxed and personal setting than they would with a panel,” said Milbert.
Sandling echoes the sense of excitement about providing students with an opportunity to work on leadership skills in conjunction with interaction with alumni who have entered the professional world.
“I really want students to take advantage of alumni being there—they’ve been here, they’ve done what we’ve done and they have so many shared experiences with us. Even if they aren’t in your particular field, their insight will be so valuable,” Sandling said.
In addition to the alumni, there will be a keynote speaker for the event, Kay Wakeham. Wakeham is an expert in leadership and entrepreneurial skills as the owner of The Growth Coach of San Antonio.
“The rest of the conference crew and I believe that in order to take full advantage of what the future might bring, you must be aware of the importance of being a leader and of the different ways to be efficient and well-prepared. For these reasons, we invited alumni and Kay Wakeham, who helps business owners, partners, managers and sales professionals reach their full potential in business and in life,” said Ortegon, who manages the programming of the event.
The event begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Fiesta room and continues through 3 p.m.