Five Keys to Successful Student Leadership
For Baylor's early career Full-Time MBA students, developing leadership skills is designed to be part of the program. While two of our students did not set out to serve as student leaders, when opportunity came knocking... they answered.
Both students are MBA Student Ambassadors and leaders of the Baylor Graduate Business Association (GBA), an organization that provides opportunities for graduate students to lead, grow and connect through student-organized events and activities.
Below, we share their five keys to leading effectively as a Baylor MBA student. 1. Abide by the Platinum Rule
The Platinum Rule, a variation of the Golden Rule, is to treat others in the way they would like to be
treated. It starts with adapting one's leadership style to the strengths, weaknesses, needs and pain points of each team member. It requires leaders to listen closely enough to build consensus and put the interests of their team members ahead of their own. It is the most challenging way to lead, but it is also the most ethical.
The leaders of the GBA are constantly aware of the fact that the best-laid plans might fall flat. Brandon, the organization's former communications director and incoming president, can remember several instances in which his team spent many hours planning and preparing for an event that had low attendance, either because of online burnout during the pandemic or other conflicting activities and events on campus. Regardless of the success of any one event, effective leaders focus on leading and serving consistently, trusting that their efforts will benefit their fellow students both personally and professionally in the long run.
Never underestimate the importance of engaging with someone in an individual setting. As an MBA Ambassador, Brandon makes phone calls and meets with potential students to answer questions, address concerns and share more about his own experience. Without this kind of personal engagement, Ashleigh never would have ended up at Baylor. With a bachelor's degree in animal science under her belt, she was unsure whether to pursue a specialized master's degree or a more portable MBA. A call from a student ambassador convinced her to finish her MBA application, and the rest is history. Now, Ashleigh is an MBA Ambassador as well.4. Spread Knowledge
Secure, successful leaders spend more time sharing knowledge than showing it off. One of the things that drew Brandon and Ashleigh to Baylor was a culture that emphasizes collaboration over competition. Professors and students alike are eager to be a resource to anyone who needs extra help. To carry that spirit forward, Ashleigh has begun to reach out to the next MBA cohort on behalf of the GBA to answer questions and share tips for success that she wished she would have known on her first day.5. Embrace the Unexpected
Effective leadership requires openness to new experiences. Looking back over their time at Baylor, Ashleigh and Brandon agree that the most formative opportunities have been entirely unplanned. From competing in case competitions to joining the leadership of GBA, their mantra has been to say yes to anything interesting that crosses their path. When they spotted an opportunity to attend the National Black MBA Association's annual conference, they hesitated because neither fit the target demographic. They were encouraged to go and learn anyway. Because of their decision to attend, they both made connections that led to an internship.
From the moment a new MBA student arrives on campus, there will never be a shortage of opportunities to lead and serve other students outside of the classroom. While juggling extracurriculars with internships and classes adds another layer of complexity to the MBA experience, students like Brandon and Ashleigh cannot imagine their experience without these opportunities. Whatever form student leadership takes, it imparts lessons that students carry with them into their workplaces and communities for years to come.
Are you ready to hone your leadership skills? Learn more about Baylor's Full-Time MBA program by clicking here, or fill out the form below to speak directly with an admissions advisor.