Friday, November 22, 2013

Leadership Symposium

Tom McDonnell
In addition to Dan Rather last week, the week held a slew of activities for our first ever Leadership Symposium week.  The inspiration for this week came from a discussion that executive board members had with our own Father Curran last semester.  He questioned why we should not have a week dedicated to leadership, as Rockhurst has continued to enjoy its reputation for leadership throughout time.  As a result, Senate worked with several other organizations, including SAA, SAB, SAAC, and the Order of Omega (I might have missed a few, and I apologize if that's the case)  Monday, we had a speaker, Tom McDonnell, who is the President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation.

Tuesday was an alumni panel sponsored by Order of Omega, and Wednesday was a presentation by the former president of Harvester's and SAB's Turkey Dinner.  At the Turkey Dinner, all of the canned goods collected (admission for the event) were then donated to Harvester's. SAB made an awesome video about the Turkey Dinner, so I definitely recommend watching it! (linked earlier in the paragraph)

Thursday was Senate's Town Hall event, inviting several speakers to speak about the state of the university, including Town Hall.  Finally on Friday was Res Life's annual Beyond Words event.  Each one of these events had wonderful attendance, as students understood the influence of the speakers and the importance of their contributions.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dan Rather

Everyone outside the Finucane Center
This Monday was the second annual Leadership Series event for Rockhurst University.  This year, Rockhurst invited legendary journalist Dan Rather to speak to students in a Q&A session and had a luncheon at the downtown Marriot for various community members, staff & faculty from Rockhurst, and some students to attend.   Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be able to attend both the Q&A session and the luncheon!  I was incredibly impressed by how personable Dan Rather was both while talking to our students and while talking to the large group.  While at times speakers held at arms-length can be very difficult to relate to, I overheard one student saying, "I just wanted to ask him if he would be my grandpa!"

The students with Dan Rather at the Q&A
Monday morning, about 20 students gathered in the Finucane Center, along with several faculty and staff- Dan Rather arrived and allowed us to jump right in, asking questions from many different subjects, ranging from the main theme of leadership to reflecting on his experiences.  He had many different insights, that were really incredible to hear about.  His reflection on leadership was very insightful, including four different main points.  These were character, vision, communication, and decisiveness.  The most incredible part is that Mr Rather stated that every one of the leaders he interviewed exemplified these characteristics, and how they carried over into leadership positions for everyday situations also.

Next, we went to the luncheon at the downtown Marriott.  At this particular event, there were countless guests from around the Kansas City community.  I had the opportunity to sit with executives from UMB Bank, faculty and staff members, and two other students which proved for great conversation throughout the meal.  Dan Rather was yet again, very personable- taking a selfie with the student (a close peer) who introduced him and sharing stories about his marriage.  It was such an opportunity to see him speak to such a large, influential audience, and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to attend this event.  I only hope Rockhurst continues to provide these types of opportunities for students in the years to come!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

International Opportunities in KC

Last Friday, UMKC hosted an event with the International Trade Council titled "Getting Started in a Global Career".  This event was held at the new Bloch School of Management Building, and connected students or recent graduates with professionals already in an international career, along with members of the International Trade Council.  This organization allows professionals and students to attend events and gatherings focused around the international hub of Kansas City.  For this event, it was focused around why, when, and how to begin your global career.  They brought in many influential people in this process from the university end including deans, recruitment personnel, and a study abroad coordinator.  Additionally, there were several speakers who are already very active in a career around the world, including a man who has been to 35 countries, all for business, to a woman who talks to people around the world daily from her office here in the Midwest.  Each spoke about the pros and cons of traveling for work, (since that's the dream of many college graduates looking at an international career), in addition to the overall fascinating scenarios that being involved internationally poses.

With lunch and networking time following the event, students got a chance to mingle with the professionals, to both make contact for future opportunity and to simply ask for advice.  I know that I really enjoyed a chance to get to hear exactly what a usual position in this area includes- its interesting how so many positions now include work overseas, but all in a different way.  Additionally, I learned a lot from speaking with one of the professionals about different opportunities for the future.  Her position was of particular interest to me, and by just talking through my interests and skills with her, it helped me feel more confident that something will be out there for me when the time comes.  Until then, I will just keep attending events like this!