Student leadership programs are essential for college students

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Tammia Jacobs, Senior Staff Reporter/Writer

Having effective leadership skills can play a significant role in every aspect of a student’s life. Students progress through many stages that prepare them for career development, in which they will need to have acquired leadership skills. In the rise of the global COVID-19 pandemic, students are facing many career challenges and employment problems after graduation. Therefore, it is imperative that they learn leadership skills in order to resolve employment issues and analyze career direction.

In the modern world, college students are experiencing many problems with employment. Students should learn innovative leadership skills to assist their professional development, impact society, local communities, nations, and businesses. 

In order to prevent unprepared students in the workplace, it is crucial for student leadership program opportunities to be established at the collegiate level. At Alabama State University, there are several clubs and organizations that provide valuable opportunities for students to develop their ability to lead. A notable organization that provides this unique experience would be the Student Government Association (SGA).

According to The American Student Government Association official website, an opportunity to serve as a member of the SGA will “Provide all Student Government leaders and advisors nationwide with networking, research, and information resources and will teach them how to become more effective, ethical, and influential leaders on their campuses.”

In addition to the responsibility the SGA members have to represent the university, they also serve as a voice to the students by taking the initiative to inspire and apprise their peers about issues the student body feels strongly about.

Some students at Alabama State University spoke to the social impact that an effective leader can have on the university and the surrounding community.

The position of a leader plays a pivotal role in affecting the climate, attitude and reputation of our university,” said junior political science major Markell Ramsey. “They are the cornerstone on which ASU and the local community functions and grows. With successful school leadership, we can become an effective learning environment and a place where students are not only educated but challenged, nurtured and encouraged.”

“If our students have leadership skills, they can inspire thousands of people in their city, village, colleges, school, and nation by taking the initiative in the development of local business,” said junior business and marketing major Desiree Frazier. 

It is difficult to develop next-generation talent and career opportunities for students. That is why students need awareness as well as analytical skills. A lack of leadership skills in students will be detrimental to the future economy, as these upcoming graduates are the future employees and entrepreneurs of society. Students should prioritize being innovative, creative and becoming independent.

According to theclassroom.com, there are a number of benefits associated with college students becoming involved with student leadership programs.

 Since college is a fresh start for most students, they should take the opportunity to consider their interests and the skills that they want to develop. In order to begin working on their interests and developing their skills, they should get involved right away. Students should attend student involvement fairs and consider the many options for student leadership in college. As they become involved, they will begin to discover new aspects of their special talents as well as skills that you hope to further develop.

Students should also push themselves to assume leadership roles that may be outside of their comfort zone. Student organizations are hungry for new students to step up to the plate and help organize events and meetings. If a student takes the risk to get involved, he or she will learn strong communication skills, time management and the ability to multitask. These new skills will help them as they enter the professional world after college.

Another benefit of student leadership in college is the opportunity to work with others to innovate and create new projects and programs. Working collaboratively with others can be challenging, but teamwork is critical in student leadership and in life. If a student becomes a leader, he or she will soon learn how to work with diverse personalities to make exciting things happen on campus.

Student leadership in college often involves working with college faculty and staff. Each student organization has a college adviser.  Student leaders have the opportunity to develop strong relationships with professionals who can serve as a reference or open doors to other leadership possibilities. Students may also meet alumni and potential hiring officials who interact with their organizations.

Students may not yet consider themselves as leaders but getting involved will help them develop new skills that may be surprising. As a student organization leader, students will learn about organizational goal setting, recruiting new members and even budgeting. These core leadership skills will be transferable as students enter the work world. Students can even use student leadership experiences in an interview to show how they can hit the ground running as a new professional.

Community service is central to most recognized student organizations in college. Becoming a leader will help you learn more about the broader community and bring a greater awareness of how you can give back to others. You’ll feel more fulfilled as an engaged citizen if you contribute your skills to a community service project.

There is no question that employers are looking for more than just a strong academic performance in college. Becoming a student leader will help a student build a strong resume that showcases how he or she can make things happen and how he or she works well with others. A resume that is packed with a variety of leadership experiences demonstrates the special gifts and talents that set a student apart from other candidates.

 Leadership programs can motivate students to broaden their horizons and not solely depend on corporate jobs for career and income. Governments are not able to provide that many jobs due to a number of reasons. One reason is the lack of skills and knowledge in the government system, in which they are not able to inspire and create next-generation government companies. It might be that they do not have a skilled workforce or a lack of knowledgeable individuals.

Students possess the talents, creativity, imagination, and enthusiasm to build a billion-dollar company or the next big invention. Students should spend some time acquiring and developing leadership skills in on-campus leadership programs so the possibility of creating their own business, working on their own time, and having flexibility and freedom in their careers can be within reach.