You’re A Leader, Trailblazer

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Ten points to MCLA! The 23rd Annual Leadership Conference held on campus will have a magical theme this year, hoping to draw attendees from MCLA as well as surrounding colleges.

MCLA organizes this conference in the spring semester every year, consisting of multiple sessions and workshops focused on professional development. A theme is chosen for the conference, adding a fun twist to the event.

This year, the conference will be Harry Potter-themed, focusing on The Magic of Leadership as shown on their flyers.

Director of Student Activities Jennifer Labbance outlined what attendees to this year’s Leadership Conference can look forward to.

“The conference is run very professionally. There is a check in, registration, and a keynote speaker who will give about an hour long presentation before the breakout sessions begin,” said Labbance.

Four sessions, broken up into 30 and 65 minute segments, with lunch between sessions, will offer workshops detailing a wide range of leadership skills and knowledge. There are plenty of different options within each session block, presented by peers, alumni, professionals and students from other colleges.

The conference is attended by various schools other than MCLA. Newbury College, located near Boston, will be traveling the farthest for the event.

One change that took place in recent years was the creation of a sole student session block. Labbance stressed that the faculty and conference committee encourage students to present, which led to the decision to adjust the session blocks. It was found that some students felt it was easier to fill 30 minute segments rather than 60 minute segments.
Although the shorter segments were created for this purpose, other non-student presenters may also choose these smaller session blocks.

Jacob Boillat, a senior at MCLA, has attended the conference since his freshman year, and this will be his second year presenting. This year, he will be talking about budgeting skills for student clubs, organizations and personal life.

“Overall, I have really enjoyed attending this conference and always learn something new every year,” said Boillat. “I enjoy watching my peers present and learning from them while making new friendships. This conference has helped me grow as a person, student and student leader and has helped prepare me for life after college. I would highly encourage MCLA students to attend this conference.”

In choosing the conference’s theme, the committee, consisting of student affairs professionals and a few students, brainstormed ideas and took a vote on which would be the most fun and creative.

Labbance has seen many themes come and go, as this is the ninth one she has helped plan.

“In the past our themes have included things like Lego and camping,” Labbance said. “Last year, my idea for a medieval theme, Leaders of the Round Table, was almost chosen, but the date was moved to a Sunday at the last minute and the theme was switched to the Super Bowl.”

Some of this year’s ideas included, “Love Your Leader for Valentine’s Day,” “Who Can Lead with an emphasis on Dr. Seuss,” and “Reaching New Heights,” featuring a hot air balloon.
In the end, Harry Potter won and, while Labbance would not give away any details (no veritaserum truth potion used here!), the theme will be incorporated into the conference through decorations and some fun surprises.

The conference has something for every student and can have a lasting impact on those who attend.

“This is a really great experience for students,” said Labbance. “Whether you’re a new leader finding your passions and discovering how you want to lead, or you’re an experienced leader, there is always something for you.”

The Leadership Conference will take place Feb. 10 in the Campus Center Gym from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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