Leadership School is one of the most empowering, exciting leadership events organized by Sigma Delta Tau, and during 2010-2011, I was lucky enough to be a member of the Collegiate Leadership Team (CLT) selected to help plan Leadership School. That experience paved the way for my continued involvement as a National Council member and volunteer for our national events.
As I watch the subsequent Collegiate Leadership Teams complete their national event planning—whether that be Leadership School or Convention—I always reflect on my experience as part of the CLT. I think about the women I got to work with, the connections I made, and the programming we facilitated. I think of the CLT as an opportunity to kick off a larger journey within Sigma Delta Tau, as many of our CLT members go on to become wonderful national volunteers.
One of the most common questions I get asked by new CLT members is what to expect as the organizer of a national event. Many of these women have attended a Leadership School or Convention as a representative of their chapter, but this is really the first time they are attending an SDT event as an organizer. I always tell the women that they will be looked to as the up-and-coming faces of SDT. Our collegians and volunteers come excited to see the energy and expertise that each CLT member brings, and even though a CLT member may feel nervous about her “national SDT debut,” she can walk into a room with the confidence that she was picked from an entire collegiate sisterhood as the best of the beSDT—capable of teaching and empowering her fellow sisters.
Aside from the excitement of meeting new sisters, each CLT member can expect to be on the go all weekend. From facilitating workshops to leading breakout sessions to volunteering to support other sisters, this is one time to say “yes!” to everything. You can sleep after the weekend is over, and you never know what “yes!” will lead you to…possibly meeting a future mentor, inspiring a collegiate leader, or just having a blast with a sister from another chapter.
The CLT is a great way to bridge the gap between chapter involvement and national involvement. You will increase your public speaking, networking, and organizational skills—all while forming bonds with sisters you may not have met otherwise. If you are a current collegian, I encourage you to reach out to past members of the CLT and talk about if this opportunity would be a good fit for you. Applications are available in early Fall of each year.
For me, the CLT was the best experience of my college career. It introduced me to women with whom I am still friends, and prepared me to better lead meetings and workshops in the workplace. It also took my involvement beyond my college chapter and connected me to SDT nationally. I am thankful for my CLT opportunity, and the empowerment and leadership skills that it gave me.
Megan Lilly, Gamma Delta-American University, is a member of SDT’s National Council and volunteer supporting national social media activities and national events.