A Step Toward Leadership

By Ajay Rattu, Peer for Career

As the semester is well underway, many Baruch students have their daily interactions with the Baruch campus and its student life. However, many students fail to understand the importance of obtaining leadership position throughout their educational career. As a sophomore who is well-rounded with the student life in Baruch through personal experiences, I can say that leadership, both educational and professional, is imperative in any student’s career. It is leadership that separates a student from the rest of the student body and helps one jump-start their professional career. Contrary to popular belief, obtaining a leadership role is not out of reach for many students. It can be as simple as joining a club or program on campus or off campus that creates the foundation for you to move forward in the world.

My first semester at Baruch College was a bit daunting; I was coming from a small private high school where the graduating class was smaller than the amount of students that fit into a large lecture hall. As a freshman I really did not know where to begin or who to talk to at Baruch because it was just so overwhelming! I naturally became a commuter student who did just that- went to class and then back home. Luckily for me I had great Freshmen Seminar mentors who exposed me to a leadership program in Baruch called “T.E.A.M. Baruch.” I was initially reluctant to join on the assumption that it was probably a waste of time. Although I initially felt skeptical, I ultimately applied and was able to become a part of the program. I can say that applying to T.E.A.M. Baruch was one of the best things I have done for my educational career. Becoming a part of T.E.A.M. Baruch and learning about my strengths as a person, student, and fellow peer gave me the confidence to pursue other leadership roles in Baruch including the Peers for Careers program at the Starr Career Development Center (SCDC).

Becoming a Peer at the SCDC was a major change for me because I was now a part of a huge department that dedicates itself to helping students be at their best when looking for job opportunities. My role at the SCDC helped me understand how important leadership is to any student. Along with earning qualifications to review resumes, cover letters, and thank you notes, I am able to highlight and implement my skills in the corporate world. Using what I have learned from my spring Tier 1 training, assessing and making the best of a situation in a professional environment becomes simple because of the confidence I have gained along with the absence of anxiety. Being part of the SCDC opens many doors for a Peer by giving a student insight about all the helpful programs that everyone should take advantage of. The SCDC provides a number of helpful tools including their resume, cover letter, and thank you notes workshops. Other workshops the SCDC coordinates are Networking 101, On Campus Recruiting, and Mastering the Job Interview just to name a few.

Looking back, I am surprised at how one decision made such an impact on my college career. I have gained so much insight on how to properly present my brand and communicate with employers. Through this leadership role on campus I am able to advise my fellow peers when it comes to preparing for an interview or responding to a job posting. Many students are not sure about what to join, so here are some of the main and well known programs at the SCDC: Max-Berger Pre-Law Program for potential law school students, Financial Leadership Program for junior-year Finance Majors (applications due at the end of sophomore year), Rising Starr Sophomore Program for rising sophomores, Passport to Partnership for sophomore- and junior-year accounting students, and of course the Peers for Careers Program which has helped me grow as an individual and as a student.

If you are not entirely sure about any particular program to join, I suggest first starting by applying to T.E.A.M Baruch. The application process is very simple and should be electronically submitted before 5PM on October 31st, 2014. The application can be found on the Office of Student Life website. Some of the programs other than Peers for Careers within T.E.A.M Baruch are: Freshmen Seminar Peer Mentors, Orientation Leaders, P.A.W.S. – Peers Advocating Wellness Services, and Peer Academic Advisers. Any of these leadership roles is a great way to create your presence and become a part of the student life at Baruch. For more information about the programs mentioned above, you can visit the T.E.A.M. Baruch website. By the end of the training, students are aware of their role on campus and as emerging leaders representing Baruch!

While T.E.A.M Baruch and Peers for Careers are great programs to join and to take advantage of, there may be other programs that students are interested in. I highly encourage you to ask about the different clubs and organizations to find the right one for you by going to general interest meetings and club events. Finding a program that you are very interested in will make all the difference in your educational and professional career along with how you develop as a leader. Good Luck!