Algonquin students lead the way while building skills and lasting bonds

Aspiring leaders embark on a leadership journey at orientation for Student Leadership Program
Photo: Grinje Randa Bringi
Romaan Joshi, an animation student, shares which leaders inspire him.

The Nawapon gathering space was filled with excitement and anticipation as over 80 aspiring leaders from all three Algonquin College campuses gathered for the Student Leadership Program orientation on Jan. 24.

The Student Leadership Program is a hybrid personal development program aimed to build confidence and practical knowledge applicable to any leadership opportunity. Students can join by nominating themselves or being nominated by college staff members.

The event sparked an unexpected introduction between participants Ayesha Mehveen, a first-year strategic global business management student, and Maya Jyothi, a first-year building information modelling student. Both students are from the same village in South India. They were initially introduced through a social group chat but never met in person.

“I never met her. Only over a group chat, something like WhatsApp,” Jyothi said. “I have never met her in person, it’s a good thing I didn’t leave the orientation early.”

Before her arrival, Mehveen intentionally sought out the Student Leadership Program while searching for extracurricular activities at Algonquin College.

“Before coming to the college, I looked up other activities which I can do apart from my regular studies,” Mahveen said. “I decided I would enter this program.”

Ayesha Mehveen a strategic global business management Student at the Leadership Program Orientation.
Ayesha Mehveen, a strategic global business management student, at the Leadership Program Orientation. Photo credit: Grinje Randa Bringi

Hanan Tkrory, a first-year office administration student, found clarity and excitement in the program.

“I wasn’t so sure before coming here, but the presentation made everything so clear,” Tkrory said. “I’m now excited to be more confident in myself and to express better what is in my head.”

Students expected the program would be more interactive. However, the orientation confirmed a mostly online-focused curriculum.

“Online programs we can do on LinkedIn and get the certificate,” Jyothi said. “I feel that it should be in-person sessions at least once a month. It would be fun. It would be good if we came to meet other people.”

The Student Leadership Program coordinator, Hunter Morris, acknowledged feedback from participants and said adjustments were being implemented with each new cohort.

“For each new cohort, we look at adding new elements to the program,” Morris said. “As more interactive opportunities were a common piece of feedback after the first cohort, we have added additional activities to the program such as a group project, additional guest speakers and more. We will continue to improve and adapt the program to meet students needs in coming cohorts.”

The online leadership program officially starts on Jan. 30 for qualifying participants and is to be completed within one or two semesters. All graduates will receive a certificate of completion and credit toward their co-curricular record. The program ends with a team retreat and a graduation ceremony in partnership with the Mamidosewin Centre.

“I am looking forward to the weekend retreat and the graduation ceremony,” Jyothi said. “It will make us proud that we have completed.”

Applications for the next cohort open in April 2024. For more information about the program check Algonquin College Student Leadership Program website

“You do not need to be a leader now,” Morris said. “We can give you the knowledge and skills to take the first steps on your leadership journey.”

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