Victoria University has some very well run student support programmes. These programmes require high quality student leaders to step up to deliver services and be prepared to work hard to help their peers. The leaders need integrity, excellent communication skills and resilience but perhaps the most important quality is empathy. I am therefore reminded of Simon Sinek’s ‘Leaders Eat Last’ and Why the Empathetic Leader Is the Best Leader.
We have leaders who ensure new students settle into their life in Wellington such as Campus Coaches or Tuākana , VUWSA volunteers or International Guides. As the academic year gets underway others begin to mentor for example through PASS (Peer Assisted Study Support), Te Pūtahi Atawhai or Te Rōpū Āwhina (on campus support for Māori and Pasifika students) and many others work to motivate, inspire and encourage. The leaders check in with their students and ask “is everything ok?” It is this ability to empathise that helps create a sense of belonging. These behaviours are leadership traits employers want.
We can be proud that our student leaders inspire action and help others to succeed at University. In my slight obsession with Simon Sinek I suggest you take a look at this popular TED Talk, How great leaders inspire action, which has generated over 27 million views.
So, if you are a student leader, don’t underestimate the skills you are developing. Use your Careers Service to help you take your leadership journey to the next level and consider being part of extracurricular leadership programmes.