Reflective Essay: Leadership
I would not say that I was born a natural leader. I have always been quiet and reserved. I would much rather sit back and do what I am told rather than telling others what they should be doing. I never felt like I had that “it” factor that most leaders clearly portray. I never felt that I had “it”, mainly because I never used my voice. I would allow others to speak for me and only when I was directly spoken to would I speak up. I always wished I could stand up and take charge, but I feared that I would not be accepted.
My journey of leadership began when I decided to attend college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I had never been away from my family for more than a week, and I had decided to attend college 500 miles from home. Needless to say, I was in for some life changing experiences. During my first year of college, I was not deliberately seeking out leadership opportunities. I was focused on becoming independent and more outgoing. Little things like going grocery shopping on my own, doing my own laundry, and navigating around the city of Charlotte were big steps for me because I had never done them on my own before. I grew up in the same school for thirteen years and graduated with many people I had known for the entirety of those years. Coming to UNC Charlotte, I had to make all new friends which was difficult for me since I am naturally shy and I normally take a while to open up to people I have just met. Although I still called my parents every night at 8:00 PM, I slowly grew to an independent young adult who was able to function on her own and make her own decisions. My freshmen year of college saw my personality shift and independence grow. Even though the development I saw during my freshmen year is typical for all those who go away to college, my experiences formed the foundation for my journey to becoming a leader.
During my freshmen year, I enrolled in the freshmen engineering course Introduction to Engineering. I was very excited for the course because I was ready to get my first taste of engineering. My professor was Ms. Jennifer Braganza. I was immediately drawn to her because she was who I wanted to be - a woman engineer. She was very passionate about engineering and it showed through her teaching. Ms. Braganza was tough on her students. She would not hold our hands or accept excuses. She expected the freshmen students to rise to the occasion of being engineering students. Despite the tough exterior nature, her high expectation of the students was rooted in showing the importance of leadership in engineering. It was in this class that I realized that leadership was the most important quality of a great engineer. The topics in the course did not only include engineering calculations and technical writing, but concentrations and studies in ethical dilemmas and decision making were covered in the course. I found the topics intriguing and the way Ms. Braganza explained the situations and emphasized the importance of upholding the ethical responsibilities of engineers caught my attention. She made it very clear to me that developing leadership skills is not something I ought to do, but something I need to do. Ms. Braganza’s teachings remained with me throughout my freshmen year and further built on the foundation of my journey to becoming a leader.
During the last week of my freshmen year, I applied to be an Introduction to Engineering teaching assistant for the next school year. I had seen the responsibilities of the teaching assistant while I was taking the class and I knew I could handle grading some papers and sitting in the class to assist 1
the teacher. I was hired before I left for the summer, and I looked forward to attending the training the week before the fall semester would start. When I arrived at training, I was informed that the design of the course was altered to allow the teaching assistants to teach and lead one class module a week. I...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document