Seniors Embrace Leadership Lessons and Interview Insight

Leadership Lessons from MICDS Leadership

Head of School Lisa Lyle talked recently with seniors during Enrichment, giving them advice on leadership. She drew on her past, sharing of the times where she’d taken leadership positions both big and small whether she was fully ready for them or not. “Every leader I know has felt unprepared for the job they’re going to do, but that shouldn’t stop you from going for it. You don’t have to be totally prepared for an opportunity to seize it,” she shared. “Very soon, seniors, it will be your turn. You will take your place as leaders in the world and in our nation and in St. Louis. Over the next decade or so, you will prepare yourselves to take your place as active participants and leaders in your communities. As I think about the Class of 2019 and the promise of your legacy to society, I do so with great optimism!” What a way to inspire our seniors as they prepare to graduate in the spring!

Continuing on with the discussion of leadership with seniors, Scott Small, Head of Upper School, delivered a seminar focused on the attributes of an effective leader. He referred to our MICDS Mission which calls out for us to “meet the challenges of this world” and lead “lives of purpose and service.” In his session, he shared that enrichment is all about learning to be leaders in a world that will demand skills, flexibility and courage.

From there, students brainstormed important skill sets of an effective leader. After discussing the most effective attributes, they watched a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek called “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe.” The session closed with a conversation about how a leader can enlist the support of others to achieve success.

Timeless Interview Tips

At Enrichment this week, seniors learned about the art of answering interview questions. To help with this process, two guest speakers and Country Day School alumni shared their expertise and knowledge.

First to present was Kent Rapp ’76, Senior Client Partner at executive search firm Grant Cooper and Vice Chair of the MICDS Board of Trustees. His speech was followed by Steve Hughes ’84, founder of Hit Your Stride. Among many tips, the alumni emphasized the importance of bringing positive energy to one’s interviews, creating a professional LinkedIn profile and practicing interviewing with friends.

Rapp also talked about the top five skills employers seek when hiring college graduates according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Below are the top skills employers say they seek:

  1. Ability to work in a team
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
  4. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
  5. Ability to obtain and process information

Some other great tips shared by both experts were to “be likable,” “learn everything you can about the organization you are meeting with,” and “be prepared for the basic questions that always come up.”

Whether Class of 2019 students are applying to jobs and internships soon or years from now, they can take these lessons to present themselves to the best of their abilities, thanks to our alum speakers!