Meet Lisa Nguyen who just graduated last semester and is now a Hornet Alumni! She majored in Business Administration, Management Information System. In this feature, Lisa highlights her leadership journey through her experience with the Leadership Initiative.
(Lisa at Sac State campus; March 2017)
Three words that describe you: Shy, Humble and Open.
Tell us about your leadership journey: As an undergraduate I was looking for volunteer and community service programs that gave students opportunities to earn certificates and awards. I did a similar program in my high school and I wanted to continue to help. For my first event I volunteered at a blood drive leading me to join Leadership Initiative (LI), a program that develops student leadership and professionalism. After signing up, I frequently checked the online calendar to find events on campus. These events were based on the programs five areas of growth: appreciating diversity, campus life, professional development, service, and wellness. The events allowed me to know more about the Sac State community and supplemented my understanding of how students learn during college. One of my favorite events I attended was the Cooking Demo at The WELL. In addition to getting free food, I learned how to make delicious and healthy recipes for my study breaks. Joining the LI, I also got to know new people, make new friends, and network with offices and departments on campus. I improved my communication style and professionalism as well. Overall, my experience made me get out of my shyness. Learning to be less shy was important for me. Now a days in every job, employers look for candidates that have good communication skills and the ability to express themselves. During the program, I also got to go to all the workshops for each certificate (Green, Gold, Hornet Pride and Leadership Initiative). In one of the workshops, I was given a survey to find my leadership style, strengths and areas of growth. I discovered that I am a spirited leader and a direct leader. I was surprised the results of the survey were true about my personality. Without LI, I wouldn’t be able to know what my leadership style is and what I need to improve on in the future.
What motivates and/or inspires you? Change and being a social change agent is part of the Social Change Model of Leadership. We learn this theory through the certificate workshops of the program. It focused on making “a better world and a better society for ourselves and others”. The ability to change motivates and inspires me. It impacts me in every aspect of my effort to achieve my ultimate goals. However, I find change is very difficult to do. I think one needs to have courage to change and keep on going to reach one’s desire. In completing all certificates, I could see myself being a change agent and a leader. Today, I continue to help others by participating in Volunteer Program in City of Sacramento. When I helped others who were in need, I felt happy that I gave them hope for the future.
What does leadership mean to you? For me Leadership is a professional skill known to help others. I find the journey to leadership to be exciting because it pushes many people to gain more knowledge about themselves in order to help others.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person impact your life? Christina Armstrong, Leadership Programs Coordinator, had a tremendous impact on me as a leader because she is my advisor. She was always excited to guide me in earning my final certificate. I learned a lot attending the Gold Workshop 6: Controversy with Civility presented by Christina. This helped me prepare to handle difficult situations with my team members and as a leader.
How do you think your various life experiences have influenced your leadership journey? In high school my friends influenced me to join clubs and dance activities even though I was kind of shy. They forced me out of my comfort zone. During this time I created and formed friendships that exposed me to team work and allowed me to develop new insights. I learned there will be some ups and downs, however, “the show must go on” and as a team we managed to overcome and have successful performances. I felt like a leader within the group because I was able to support others. I felt these experiences help and directly connect to my future life and career path.
If you could give one piece of advice to new Hornets, what would it be? I would advise new Hornets to challenge themselves in earning all four LI certificates. I heard many students stop after completing the Gold certificate. I understand the reason because the Hornet Pride certificate requires students to make a self-reflection video. At first, I was scared and nervous because I am a shy person, but I overcame and pushed myself to do it. It was also a great project where I got a chance to be creative. Again, most employers want candidates with creative innovation to add to their workplace so it is a great opportunity to practice this. For the final certificate, I had to visit the career center. They had advice and prepared me for an actual job interview. The best part is after finishing all certificates you receive a medallion you get to wear during commencement.