Leadership and Life After Graduation
April 12, 2011
LOT’s vision is to create “An engineering education that is a life-long foundation for transformational leaders and outstanding citizens.” Through academic lectures and courses, co-curricular certificates, and extra-curricular events, the program offers a variety of opportunities for engineering students to learn leadership. But have you ever wondered if these leadership experiences actually benefit your career and life later on?
by Samoil Vohra
I had the opportunity to interview an alumnus who was involved with Leaders of Tomorrow during their time at the University of Toronto. Ines Lucia Fernandez, Industrial Engineering graduate (OT9+PEY), speaks about her experiences in the Leaders of Tomorrow program and life since graduation.
What is your personal definition of a leader? Please feel free to use examples.
I think that a leader is anyone who can identify a situation that can either be fixed or improved, define a goal and achieve this goal. Many people identify these situations, but only leaders do something about it. For instance, some people travel to developing countries for vacations and see poverty, malnourished kids and poor living standards. A few realize the gravity of social problems and only leaders do something about it and motivate others to help along with them. This can also be applied at work. Leaders identify issues or areas of improvement and work to achieve solutions.
Did you ever have an “aha” moment or realizations while working with LOT? If so, what was it and how did it impact you?
While I was at LOT I attended some seminars about finding your own personality type. I never thought about it at the time; but it is important to know yourself and use this knowledge to understand how you interact with people. When I read the results I thought, “Aha! This is my personality, I never thought about it but that's the way I react to these situations, maybe I shouldn't continue to react this way...” This realization helped me to improve.
Did participating in LOT benefit or contribute to your academic success? If so, can you give specific examples?
I am not sure if LOT helped me in terms of academic success, however it definitely helped me to interact with others at school and at work. This is more important in my career than my marks or academic achievement.
What is your favorite memory of LOT?
My favorite memory of LOT is the time when some LOT students who were working at UofT during the summer decided to organize a cultural activity. We went to the distillery district to see a theatre show and had some nice food before that. It was a really nice experience that was different to what we are used to at SKULE™.What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
I am a very adventurous person. I like travelling and I usually have crazy experiences, I have done things from dune buggy rides and sand boarding in the dessert of South America, I've hiked a mountain 5,000 meters above sea level and I've gone on elephant rides in India. However the most adventurous thing I can think of is starting my own business. With no experience and not much capital, my best friend and I started an importing business. We just started this year and it is quite risky, however, this is a great learning experience, and who knows, maybe I will transition from an engineering to a businesswoman.
LOT is continuously growing and developing as a program. Under the new helm of ILead, new innovative methods of leadership education are being explored for implementation in the following years. For more information on how you can get more involved with us, click here.