Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Live Case at my Doorstep

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Running and being elected as Chairman of the Student Association was never part of my plan. Until one day, my roommate told me that it is good for me to run because he knows that I can do something for the school. At first, I did not take it seriously thinking that he was just freely expressing his opinion.

As days went on, no one replied to the email from the SSAR (Student Services Admissions and Registrations) regarding the SA elections. So, it occurred to me that maybe I can try it. Anyway, there is at least one person who believes in me. No harm in trying though. From there, I inquired about the position of SA Chairman from the SSAR and thereafter submitted my application.
In the ensuing days was the campaign period which culminated in the Meeting de Avance. The following day was the election and later in the afternoon I was proclaimed the SA Chairman together with Sindhu Surapaneni as Vice Chairman and Shikha Chadha as President of the Overseas Students.

Stepping back and reflecting on this journey as well as on the challenges ahead, I realized that I am now in a live case with myself. This is a case that is clearly detached from the caseroom but the learning is enormous and worthwhile. There is the challenge of coming up with a strategy on how to best serve the needs of the students while striking a balance on the concerns of other stakeholders. In this aspect, I realized how important it is to be open to everyone as what Jack Welch espoused in his book entitled “Winning.”

Leading a culturally diverse student-body poses a challenge that I deem worth taking. In a world that continues to be flattened, it is now becoming imperative to know and appreciate different cultures because in the day-to-day decisions it is this factor that will make the SA responsive to the needs of its constituents.

As such, the Student Association is the best venue for me to experience the imperatives of leadership that we talk about in the caseroom. It poses a challenge beyond the theoretical base in which the reality is dileneated from the ideal. So far, this helped me hone my skills in dealing with a group of diverse people and the real challenge thereof is to make a difference – a difference that is hoped to make a lasting imprint.

Our Oath-taking as AIM Student Association Officers 

This article was first published at the AIM blog.

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