Meet Elizabeth Barrett, one of the 2020 LeaderShape On-Site Coordinators!
(We’d also love for you to meet Michael, the other on-site coordinator! You can check out his profile as a Hawkeye Service Break Leader here!)
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Year in School: Third Year
Major: Marketing and Management
Minor: Gender and Women’s Sexuality Studies
Certificate: International Business
What organizations are you involved with on campus?
I am the Vice President of Fundraising of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, as well as the marketing director of Phi Eta Sigma, an honors society on campus. Other organizations I am involved in include Reaching OUT in Business, which helps raise awareness and inclusion for LGBTQ individuals and their allies in the Tippie College of Business, Tippie International Buddies, which helps international students find connections and build relationships in their major. And, of course, I’m involved in Dance Marathon!
How do these organizations promote the ideals of leadership, service, and civic engagement?
Both Phi Eta Sigma and Delta Sigma Pi provide a variety of service opportunities throughout the year on both the University of Iowa campus and the Iowa City community. This includes hosting blood drives for the DeGowin Blood Center, making blankets and literacy kits for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, cleaning state highways through the Adopt-A-Highway program, and hosting food drives for local food pantries. Additionally, leadership is a key component to both organizations. They both provide resumé and cover letter workshops, leadership and professional development training, and numerous executive positions that allow students at any stage of their college career to be a leader and gain valuable leadership experience.
I love these organizations because students who may otherwise be hesitant about joining fraternities, sororities or socities because they don’t know what type of culture will be present can be assured that there are a number of alternative honors, service, or major-specific organizations that they can join without feeling pressured to act in a certain way.
What initially drew you to join these organizations?
Even as a freshman, I knew that I would be spending a lot of time in the Tippie College of Business. I joined Delta Sigma Pi, Reaching OUT in Business and the Tippie International Buddies because I wanted to familiarize myself with my college, develop my professional skills and meet like-minded students who were passionate about marketing and management. Tippie has become more than just another college; it is a home for me now.
Phi Eta Sigma sends out invitations to select freshman each year, and I had accepted mine without thinking that I would be extremely involved in the future. However, I greatly appreciated how the executive board then were trying so hard to get their name out in the community. The organization had been very unknown on campus, but their enthusiasm and commitment to the organization encouraged me to stay involved and, eventually, join the leadership team myself! They had been inactive on campus for a long time, but we have grown so much since my freshman year! We are doing more events, we are reaching out to more members… helping to regrow this organization has been one of my most memorable experiences at Iowa.
How have these leadership positions furthered your future personal or professional goals?
Whenever you are applying for a job or internship, they want to see that you can do things on your own and don’t need constant instruction. Leadership positions allow you to learn how to delegate tasks, work well on your own and in teams, and gain essential workplace skills. Being involved and doing good for the community also makes you want to get others involved, and this will propagate a cycle of good vibes!
You have been involved with all of these organizations for a considerable amount of time. How has being involved in these organizations for multiple years allowed you to gain new insights?
Being involved in an organization for a longer amount of time helps you to understand what their mission is and how important it is, and it helps you internalize vague goals into concrete actions. You also get an entirely new perspective from leadership positions than as a general member of an organization. You may think that things are pretty easy and straightforward, but from my personal experiences on an executive board, I known that there is a lot of brainstorming and cooperation. You are part of a team, and you can fall back on your teammates to help you through any challenge.
You are returning to Washington, Iowa, for a second year through LeaderShape! This time, though, you will be an on-site coordinator. To prepare this year’s LeaderShape class, what was your favorite memory of your own experience at LeaderShape?
I really liked building our Breakthrough Blueprints. They were unique from other leadership trainings because it gave you a chance to visualize and build steps toward making your vision a reality, and that is incredibly important for students at our age who come to college because they want to change the world. When I came back to campus, it was great to start planning steps to fulfil my vision.
What should students expect from LeaderShape? What advice would you give to the class attending it this winter?
They are going to leave knowing that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. It makes the impossible seem possible, and it is so inspiring to see others dream up these giant, world-changing projects, and you will feed off this energy to be motivated to complete your own projects and join all the organizations and just… take on the world! Being open-minded and as engaged as possible is going to help you make the most out of your time at LeaderShape. You should always feel encouraged to speak up- there are no wrong answers! Do as much talking and thinking as possible.