It starts with your mind-set. I have set mine at fully and truly exhausting the opportunities that my University learning opportunity presents and thereby informing and enriching my student experience. It is from here that applying for the Leeds to New York Leadership programme was a consideration. The Leeds - New York Leadership Programme is unique, the hybrid scholar / practitioner environment the programme offers allows for learning, while being in the real world. I was drawn to apply by three terms: leadership, cultural intelligence and New York!
I was exposed to an intense yet rewarding leadership experience. Through collaboration and a multidisciplinary aspect of the delivery, I was exposed to many different leadership perspectives. This was an informing and enriching process to engage with both personally and from a scholar/practitioner identity, as this changed depending on the context. I could identify my core beliefs and was then able to understand how far my flexibility of these could move. The many alumni we met and listened to during talks humbled me. It is important to see what is possible; this helped to put my learning and identity as an undergraduate at University of Leeds into context. Meeting all our alumni; the location; the facilitators; the challenge, together worked brilliantly. This experience is one I thoroughly recommend as it is truly transforming. I have met amazing people and have made good friends.
What has happened since?
On our final day, we pitched an idea that would see an organisation set up to retain and attract SMART talent in Leeds. The organisation would start with the students in Higher education, which meant a collaborative effort with all the universities in the city. We figured the talent in Leeds when made aware of would be the drivers of innovation, change and development that the city will need if it is to achieve its stated desire of becoming a global economic powerhouse. This project was titled In:Leeds! Working together with Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the three universities in Leeds, we delivered a successful pilot on the 1st of March 2017. No fewer than 12 employers in the city took part and I am pleased to say building on this success, a student led organisation is now being set up with a view of running and organising more collaborative and awareness projects to fulfil this simple vision of ‘In:Leeds! retaining and attracting talent to Leeds’.