Last year I served on the Leadership Institute’s Special Events LEAD Team as a member and had such a good experience that I applied to be a Co-Chair for this year. Read last year’s blog here. Being active on a LEAD Team is part of my protocol as a Leader Advancement Scholar. LEAD Teams are designed to allow scholars the opportunity to work closely together and combine their efforts to reach a common goal. These efforts are to benefit the entire Leadership Institute family. The reason I joined the Special Events LEAD Team as a freshman was because it gave me the opportunity to participate in something that I’m passionate about. Last year as a freshman, I picked up a new perspective of event planning, teamwork, and what the Leadership Institute was all about. It was amazing to see the impact our team made back then, and I wanted to see how I could make that impact even bigger as a sophomore.

As the Co-Chair, I began the initial planning of how I wanted my team structured, how I wanted it to look and run, and how I could be the best leader for the team. Me and my Co-Chair, Sam both served as members our freshman year on this LEAD Team so we had several ideas of what could make it better. We talked a lot about how we wanted the team members to perceive us, things we wish we knew going into the experience, and our vision for the team. When Sam and I finally met our team and conducted our first meeting we established a purpose, goals, and expectations all together.

PURPOSE: To plan, coordinate, and execute special events within the Leadership Institute.


  • Hold relevant meetings
  • Gain new skills and build upon existing skills
  • Plan meaningful and engaging events
  • Connect LAS Cohorts and LI members
  • Improve marketing
  • Try new things


  • Communicate with Chairs and team members
  • Hold yourself accountable
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • No judgement zone
  • Be present at meetings and limit distractions
  • All team members must attend events
  • Be positive

Sam and I were really pleased with what we came up with together as a team. These foundational steps gave us a sense of direction and orientation as we started this new journey.

Something that Sam and I focused on all year was to hold relevant meetings. There’s nothing worse than when you sit through a long meeting that could have easily been put in an email. Time is a precious commodity, and as students we are always on the go from one thing to another. The last thing we wanted as Co-Chairs was to waste our team members time with long, irrelevant meetings. We accomplished this goal by always meeting as Co-Chairs before the team meeting to create an agenda that was to be given to our team members and to discuss what needed to get done, what decisions needed to made, etc. If we felt there wasn’t anything to get done we wouldn’t have a meeting and instead send an email with any information or updates we had for that week.

Another aspect that Sam and I wanted to stress was to plan meaningful events. I value quality over quantity. I didn’t want to have events just to have them, I wanted there to be real value – some kind of impact that we could’ve made with the event. As freshman there were a couple events that were poorly put together, didn’t have a real purpose, and therefore had very low attendance. This was an area we wanted to improve.

Lastly, as a team we wanted to bond LAS Cohorts and others involved with the Leadership Institute. In the past, some of the events put on by the Special Events LEAD Team were exclusively for Leader Advancement Scholars. While LEAD Teams are a LAS program, there’s no reason we need to focus our efforts on only scholars. To make a bigger impact, my team began marketing to all people a part of the Leadership Institute and even some other groups on campus such as Honors students or foreign exchange students. It was such a satisfying feeling to see a diverse crowd at our events and to know that we were making a big impact.

Here is a list of all events put on by the 2017 – 2018 Special Events LEAD Team:






At our last team meeting we reviewed all of the events we completed over the year and followed up with our initial goals and expectations. Altogether we were pleased with the success of our events and how much each and every one of us grew individually and professionally. Leading this team was a beneficial experience during my sophomore year here at CMU and I am looking forward to applying the skills and leadership styles I learned to my next role.

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