Leadership Insights from Outgoing Club Presidents
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 18:04
Michelle Kramer and Lisa Chang (Co-Presidents of the Graduate Marketing Association Club - GMA)
1. What was your vision for the club? And how did you achieve your goals during the year.
Last year we set the goal for the GMA to be a resource to any student interested in pursuing a career in marketing, regardless of the industry. Throughout the year we planned joint events with other clubs such as Luxury Retail (LuxRet), Media and Entertainment (MESA), Technology and New Media (TANG), and Social Enterprise (SEA), proving the high value in collaboration. One of the best co-run events was the first ever Digital Day, bringing together members of LuxRet, TANG, MESA, and GMA to learn from industry professionals about the innovative ways that they are leveraging new technologies and social media in their careers.
2. What leadership lessons did you learn during your tenure as co-president(s) of the club?
One of the biggest leadership lessons that we learned is how important it is to work with someone you like and get along with, but also someone that your skill set compliments well with. The two of us have very complimentary skill sets, and because of that we were able to lead and oversee the GMA much more effectively. I think we both learned so much from each other, and really valued the strengths in the other person and learned to appreciate that more. This was such a valuable lesson because so many times you want to work in a group or on a team with your best friend or people you get along really well with, but sometimes that's not enough. In leadership, you need to focus on what's best for the club and how you can effectively lead it and we were able to do so together this year because of this dynamic.
3. How did you go about building a successful team dynamic?
We wanted to engage our board and club as early as possible, so the GMA hosted a mid-summer happy hour for everyone to reconnect and share stories about their summer internships. This was one of the many events that we have planned to help facilitate networking among the members to build and strengthen their personal and professional relationships.
4. What advice do you have for next year's EVP?
Our advice for next year's EVP's is that the sky is the limit. We continue to be impressed by how much is led by the student body, and whatever you put into an organization is what you get out of it. The more you invest in the GMA and the more you work as a club to improve and make an impact, the more it will be felt, and we have felt it and learned it this year. It is so bittersweet to no longer be the co-presidents of the club but we are so grateful that the club is in such amazing hands! We look forward to the future of the GMA!
Yusuke Kurosaki (President of Japanese Business Association Club - JBA)
1. What was your vision for the club? And how did you achieve your goals during the year?
JBA's mission is to provide Stern students Japan-related experiences in various fields such as through cultural events,professional events, and actual visits to Japan. We have achieved this by not only maintaining our current “cultural” events, but expanded into different areas such as “corporate relations” by co-working with Japan Society for events and by establishing new corporate contacts such as with UNIQLO, and “alumni relations” by organizing the first ever “alumni mixer”. In addition, to create another highlight event of JBA, we initiated the first ever “Japan Day” to provide an opportunity for Stern students to see, feel, and touch the exciting Japanese culture at school.
The other major mission was to show how strong Japan was after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. JBA placed extra effort to promote the “Japan Trek” this year to introduce the Stern community to actually see how strong the country is. We were able to attract over 70 students to attend the spring trek. In addition, we organized an alternate trek during thanksgiving break for the students who did not get a chance to visit Japan last spring because of the disaster.
2. What leadership lessons did you learn during your tenure as President of your club?
I learned how difficult it is to maintain motivation and build a collaborative environment among the board and the club, but simultaneously, realized the power that an organization can generate as a whole. Although each officer has the responsibility to maximize their performance in each of their positions, the position itself is voluntary and each officer has their own priorities. The president's role is to manage the officers, but also have to show respect and motivate them. The balance of these elements are crucial, but when the leader shows strong vision and divides the work to each of the officers, a "plus-alpha" comes on top of the performance which leads to a tremendous success.