Participants were able to attend three sessions before the final keynote at the conference. Each session lasted 50 minutes and followed the conference’s theme of “Why Relationships Matter.” Some of the sessions included: “Directional Conflict,” “Coffee Networking Hour” and “President Leadership Panel.”
“My favorite session was ‘Want to Leave a Legacy? Let Collaboration Help You!’” Honors freshman Katy Volikas said. “My favorite part was where you took the Pride Guide and found five organizations that paralleled with your organization, so it was kind of like networking across campus, and I hadn’t thought about doing that before.”
The conference ended with a presentation from Steve Whitby, who teaches lessons about student leadership by sharing real-life stories. His keynote address, “Shaving the Yak,” focused on the need for organizations to worry less about process and more about listening to one another’s stories in order to lead effectively.
“We rely as college students, we rely as student leaders, and we rely as people new to the craft of leading, on luck far too often,” said Whitby, who has spoken at more than 350 college campuses. “We rely on plans that will not stand the test of being smacked by someone who’s actually good at what they’re doing.”
In the end, students of all ages attended the conference and there were 18 different sessions offered by presenters from campus organizations. Students walked away from the conference with knowledge of how relationships can help them become better leaders.
“This was my first leadership conference at the college level, and so I think the executive leadership roles I have and will have will focus on adult issues, so the leadership conference focused more on workplace strategies and communication. It was much more professionally-oriented, and I felt that the information was valuable to know,” Volikas said.