Leadership U: Creating the next generation of leaders

Joshua Schuetz
Staff Writer

There is no field of work in the world where leadership isn’t a crucial driver of success. Instilling the qualities associated with leadership to students will produce a stronger, healthier, more work-ready generation of graduates. 

Leadership U, a program dedicated to empowering students to become that next generation of leaders, is doing just that.

“Leadership U is a three-part leadership development program for any student at Minnesota State University, Mankato.” said Emi Menk, an Assistant Director at MNSU.

The leadership program consists of a series of weekly workshops, each tailored specifically to improve core competencies in various skills associated with leadership, all of which are extremely useful both in the professional world and in life more generally. On Tuesday, the workshop was dedicated to the improvement of writing skills. 

The second part of the program is an annual Leadership Retreat, which took place last weekend. The final part of the program is a Leadership Awards Ceremony which will be conducted April 14. 

“We use Corey Seemiller’s Student Leadership Competencies Guidebook,” said Ms. Menk.  “It outlines 60 different competencies over eight different areas of leadership development. Each year, we cover about 20 of the competencies.”

According to Ms. Menk, leadership programs have been around for a couple of decades, but it’s only recently that they’ve been reorganized and expanded at MNSU. “Leadership programs, in some shape or form, have been happening since the 1990s,” Ms. Menk said.

The Leadership Retreat at the University is currently in its sixth year, while the Leadership Awards have been going on for about 10 years. Over time, the programs have been integrated and redesigned to better fit the needs of a growing student body.

“The program’s most current form started about two years ago, but prior to that we were still doing a weekly workshop series,” Ms. Menk said. 

The organization’s web page, located in the Organizations and Activities section of the University website, features the workshop schedule. In addition to this, the organization also has an online toolbox, with free content geared towards helping students improve their leadership skills, covering topics such as burnout, time management, leadership theory, and relationship building.

The next workshop will take place Tuesday, Feb. 12. Its topic will be “Leadership and Facilitation.”

All workshops are free to attend, and are held each Tuesday, from 5-6 p.m., in room 245 of the Centennial Student Union.

Feature photo by Samuel Oluwadoromi | MSU Reporter.

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