July 15, 2024

Advancing Business Excellence

Pioneering Corporate Success

Summer leadership opportunities offered by Centre for Career and Personal Development

By Kimberly Taylor, June 9 2024—

The University of Calgary’s Centre for Career and Personal Development (CCPD) is offering several opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills, build connections with other students, develop their career and deepen their understanding of who they are.

On June 10 at the Campus Food Hub students can attend the Spice Up Your Life, with Clifton Strengths event and workshop. Students can also register for Camp LEAD starting on June 1 using Elevate. Camp LEAD is a free two day retreat at the U of C Barrier Lake Research Institute on July 26 to 28. Students can also book one on one appointments with Career advisors, and apply for the Student Activities Fund.

In an interview with the Gauntlet, Andrea Davis, Coordinator of Leadership Programs for the CCPD spoke about leadership development programming offered over the summer.

According to Davis, Camp LEAD is a unique opportunity for students that involves Indigenous land-based learning with sessions offered twice a year, usually in the summer and winter semesters, funded in partnership with the Students’ Union Quality Money program.

“Camp LEAD has run since 2013, where we do leadership programming, but also Indigenous land-based learning that connects Indigenous ways of knowing with leadership, and presence and being aware and in the moment,” Davis said. 

“It’s a really lovely immersive experience because we go off campus. In February we went to Pioneer Lodge with 43 of us and we were able to do some great recreational programming as well. Great moments of bonding and learning more about ourselves and creating connection with each other,” Davis continued.

Davis shared the Clifton Strengths approach to leadership which is rooted in positive psychology. Positive psychology focuses on what is best about people instead of using a deficit based approach. Before attending the Spice Up Your Life workshop, students will have the opportunity to take the Clifton Strengths assessment for free.

“The premise of the workshop is that what’s best about you is really unique to you. You can imagine the recipe that is you, the spices that make up your top talents are the amazing piece of who you are.” Davis said. “Research has shown that if you invest in what’s best about you, you can develop more powerfully than by focusing on your weaknesses.”

Alternatively, Davis also shared that one-on-one appointments with CCPD advisors are also an opportunity for students to take various assessments for free and get one-on-one coaching on developing their career.

“There are a number of free assessments that are available to students that they can access directly through the Centre of Career and Personal Development, I encourage students to take advantage of that while they are there, to really help develop and understand themselves as future employees or future leaders too,” Davis said. “You are a leader you just have to find the path to get there.”

“It’s a good time to connect with a career-development specialist because they get fairly busy during the academic year—fall and winter.”

Davis highlighted the use of the Social Change Model of Leadership for the Leadership for a Better World Speakers and Panels series. This model is rooted in seven values and sees leadership as a collaborative process to guide leadership programming with CCPD. Past events and panels focused on the first three values, with future events and panels focusing on the next four values.

“[The Social Change Model of Leadership] is used in a lot of post-secondary institutions across North America. We piloted the first three workshops which are based on the first level of that model, which is personal leadership,” Davis said. “There’s still six more workshops as part of that series that we’re going to be rolling out that are based on the values at each level of that model, community leadership, and citizenship. The model itself is about creating positive social change.”

According to Davis, collaboration, building community and feeling connected to their peers is one of the benefits of participating in leadership opportunities through CCPD.

“Leadership is fun. Figuring out who you are is a fun journey,” Davis said. “Come and figure that journey out and build some connections and community while you do it.”

Learn more about leadership opportunities through the CCPD website.