A new series of classes at Mitchell Hamline this summer prepared students to be leaders in their classrooms and beyond.
The first ever Summer Leadership Institute took place on four evenings in August. Open to 2L and 3L students, the optional, noncredit classes covered a wide range of topics—from how students can identify and improve their own leadership skills to being an effective leader in the classroom and someday in their workplaces and communities. The institute was presented by Mitchell Hamline’s Academic Excellence, Career and Professional Development, and Diversity and Inclusion offices.
Diversity and Inclusion manager Sharon Van Leer hopes teaching students to be better leaders now will pay off for them in the future.
“Leadership skills are powerful because they affect everything you do,” Van Leer said. “Your conversation, your relationships, your trust—all of that is built off becoming a good leader.”
Jon Van Nurden, a student in Mitchell Hamline’s part-time weekend program, said he already had a fair amount of leadership experience after 13 years of working in Minnesota state government. But he says the leadership classes have given him new ideas on how to best interact with colleagues, bosses, and clients.
“It’s a good for me to think about things from a different perspective,” Van Nurden said. “It’s really useful to hear about the different leadership opportunities and perspectives from an attorney’s point of view.”
Fellow 2L Desiree McDowell said the classes taught her how to better communicate with her fellow students.
“I’ll use the skills I gained when working with classmates and even preparing assignments,” she said. “Having a better understanding of how others may communicate, and how to best apply my style of communication, ensures greater consideration given to such matters.”
Van Leer says the Leadership Institute will be offered to Mitchell Hamline 2Ls and 3Ls again this spring.