The 2nd session of the 2016 College Leadership of Rhode Island was packed with networking, meaningful presentations and butterfly gardens. JWU Providence student Samantha Riley flitted away with a renewed passion for the future.
It is unfathomable that an entire month has already passed since the previous leadership session, yet when the College Leadership Rhode Island group reunited this past week, it was as if no time had passed at all. The members gathered bright and early at Fidelity Investments in Smithfield, RI on Friday, October 14 for another enlivening and inspirational day.
The purpose of the early morning was to provide the class a chance to mingle and connect with Leadership Rhode Island alumni or participants of the current program. Without any instructions, the floodgates were opened and soon the networking was well underway: business cards rapidly fluttered from hand to hand, firm handshakes were conducted and the art of small talk was perfected. Whether or not the people the members spoke to were relevant to their career path was unimportant. The learning experience alone was beneficial for all involved and everyone departed having gained something from it.
From that point forward, the remainder of the day was a blur, partially due to the multiple cups of tea I downed, but also because of the captivating itinerary. There were back-to-back panel presentations and discussions about what the companies of today are looking for when hiring and the ins and outs of networking. The highlight of the day though was the tour of Fidelity’s campus, home to over 4,000 associates. It is well on its way to becoming completely sustainable; kitchen scraps are transformed into compost that is then used to fertilize its tamed natural landscaping, pathways are composed of recycled material and it even boasts an on-site butterfly and herb garden. The tour leader was the most passionate individual who honestly loved his job to the core. The lesson that ensuring the number one priority in life should be to follow one’s passion resonated with me more than anything else.
The group was then divided into three and provided the opportunity to facilitate in-depth conversations with individuals who had or were engaged in entrepreneurial ventures. There could not have been a better convenience than to inquire about entrepreneurship right from the horse’s mouth. A common preconceived notion is that successful people are the ones who have everything sorted out but the truth of the matter is, that’s not always entirely true. It was reassuring to hear.
The tail end of the day included a more detailed look at our top five strengths and instructions on how to use them to reach our fullest potential. It forced us to not only realize the positive parts of the five traits but to also become aware of the downside to them. It is important to understand that sometimes these strengths can be construed in a negative light, but with awareness that is a step in the right direction.
Overall, the second day was another portion of the journey to completing the program and ending it as a person better equipped to achieve greatness personally, professionally and everything in between.
Samantha Riley blogged about her study abroad adventures and was recently named a winner in the JWU Study Abroad photo contest.
Interested in reading more from Samantha Riley? Follow her JWU Student Blog.