This year, I cut my winter break short by a week. I came back to the U, packed my big purple duffle bag full of warm, camp-appropriate clothes (and one business casual outfit... what?) and set off for Hanson Hall. Two buses were waiting there to transport me and about 55 other students to Camp Ihduhapi for our six-day LeaderShape experience.
The past four years, the Carlson School of Management and the College of Science and Engineering have been teaming up to provide this experience for a group of students-- 30 from each college-- with the hopes that it would impact us in some significant way and push us to think deeply about our values, passions, and our visions for the world. Putting aside the day-to-day realities of life and thinking big picture-- then BIGGER picture-- was difficult for a lot of people. But almost everyone there had been recommended this program by a friend who said it was an amazing experience, even life-changing. So we trusted in the process.
At LeaderShape, we were encouraged to imagine a world where anything is possible, where there are no limits to the amount of good one can do in the world if he or she is just passionate enough. And I have to say, it's refreshing to take a step back from thinking about school life and the little bubble you live in and think about big ideas for the world. What do you want the future to look like? Whether it involves a source of clean drinking water for every man, woman, and child, or eyeglasses for every student, the possibilities are infinite.
Beyond all the amazing ideas thrown around and discussed in an honest, open environment, my favorite part about LeaderShape was that it brought together two colleges within the University that are normally about as far apart as it gets. Both physically and metaphorically! I loved hearing all the different perspectives brought to the table. It made for discussions of such a depth I've rarely ever experienced before.
But we're determined not to let it end there. All kinds of meetings to get together and have those same kind of discussions (as well as just to hang out!) are in the works. LeaderShape was a great experience and I've made all kinds of amazing friends around campus because of it. And I feel like I know myself better, too!
Long story short: It's awesome; sign up for LeaderShape 2013 next year. Okay? Okay!