Frontrunner course inspires future leaders

Students who took part in an innovative University programme, designed to build leadership skills and prepare them for fulfilling careers have judged it a great success.

Posted: 10 February 2015

image for news story Frontrunner course inspires future leaders
Natalie Jenkins, and Mark Turner, who took part in the Frontrunner course are pictures with the University's Head of Employment and Entrepreneurship, Julie Powell, centre, who is responsible for the scheme

The Frontrunner programme is a four day intensive course where students who have proved their aptitude for leading roles, for example through societies or academic groups, can meet people in leadership roles face to face.

It is one of a number of initiatives provided by the University to develop students’ confidence and career related skills and thinking, so that they have the best start once they graduate.

Frontrunner participants move beyond models and theories by investigating leadership first hand. Eighty-four final year undergraduates took part in the most recent course, They met leaders across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors who shared the challenges they face and their methods for overcoming them. Get more information about Frontrunner

Two students who took part explained the benefits:

Mark Turner, a third year Business student, said: “Witnessing and learning from leaders’ styles and skills inspired me to have confidence in my capabilities, gave me more belief in what I want to achieve in life and reinforced my drive to succeed in achieving my goals. I definitely recommend to anyone considering applying for the course to put aside any doubts and go for it.”

Kaydee Neale-Kenwright, a third year Philosophy student said: “I had been apprehensive about attending a leadership course, but not only did it boost my morale to meet other students who want to be active change makers but I met professionals who offered a window into the various ways we can effect change in different types of organisations and society. Thanks to this course I am a part of a network of students, graduates and professionals to tap into for advice, which can only be a good thing when you're on the cusp of graduating!

During the course, Kaydee met a barrister and politician who she has remained in contact with on a mentoring basis to explore potential career options.

Among the specific learning on the course, students explored effective questioning skills, the broader context of power at work and how to use influence. They looked at the sources of power, how to make change happen and discovered how diversity can offer solutions to complex organisational challenges.

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