I chose to apply to the Common Purpose Future Leader Experience Programme because it was advertised to students who have had difficulties, disabilities or any ongoing medical conditions whilst studying at University, of which I met one of these criteria. The programme looked very enticing where I hoped to gain confidence and experience as a leader.

My Common Purpose experience exceeded my expectations. The activities were short, engaging and thought provoking with an opportunity to gain experience working with Norwich Theatre Royal, which was one of my highlights. Between breaks, snacks and beverages were provided with dietary requirement substitutes. These sections were also good opportunities to network and make friends with fellow course members.

My two biggest points that I learnt from the programme were the characteristics that build up a leader and the meaning of power. To be a leader didn’t entail just authorisation and power, but included the ability to empathise and understand your team, communicate, ask lots of questions and have passion about your job. I learnt that there was no single attribute to gaining power. Instead it consists of many small qualities, ranging from personality to excellent networker to funding.  

My biggest take-away was the ability to break down my big goals into smaller achievable steps using storyboards. This is something I shall be returning to in the future to access my achievements, failures and future goals.

As a result of the programme I have more confidence to take on different tasks and volunteer outside of my comfort zone. This includes speaking in front of a large audience and creating persuasive presentations. These will be useful skills to install when I start my career, where I hope to become an Environmental Consultant and would need the ability to communicate effectively with large audiences amongst other attributes (highlighted below).

I know all these skills I have gained from Future Leaders will be useful in my work environment where I hope to expand on these proficiencies. I now have the ability to work with diverse groups of people, create presentations, inspire large audiences and understand challenging points of views. All great attributes to become a successful leader.