Everybody says that it's kind of a life changing experience, and I would say that on an individual level, I think that happens with everybody... I have taken on more responsibility at the South Dakota State Libraries since the Leadership Institute... A great experience. I would encourage everyone to apply.
My experience with the Institute really was life affirming and life changing at the same time... It changed me in that it really affirmed that I was in the right place at the right time... I do believe that the institute not only shares skills, but actually shares a way of life, and helps prepare you for the opportunities that you have in a library career.
Obviously it's an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself as a leader... I really benefitted from the networking. I've been in contact with several members of my cohort since we finished our time.
It's just a real unique professional development experience. I mean, I think I learned a lot about the profession. Learned a lot about myself. It's a real personal experience, but also just like a real close communal experience as well .
It was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me as far as career advancement... Because I was so empowered by the Leadership Institute. I definitely took a leadership role in our organization.
hat it did is give me a set of tools that I really didn't know that I had... I have an idea of what I want to be and where I want the library that I'm working at to be.
I don't think there is any other leadership institute in North America that covers multiple states, but in a distinct geographic region which is one of the key strengths of MPLA... You become very close with the group of people that you are with, the mentors that you have... And I would just say it's totally worth it. You have so much like individual, personal growth, not just professional growth.
There was so many different people, from so many different walks of life and so many different types of libraries, and we have a lot of things in common. And I think it was really reinforced there.
What the Leadership Institute did for me, was put me in contact with people who were going to be my peers... And there are at least three people from my class that I have fairly regular at least once a quarter contact with... Put your foot in the water. It's well worth the experience.
One of the great things about the Leadership Institute is learning that leadership is multi-faceted, and there are different forms of leadership... I'd say I learned more at the Leadership Institute than I had learned in my business education at that point about human resources, and management, and professional growth and development... If you are considering it, I would say apply.
We developed a mission statement for ourselves, and we set goals. I achieved a lot of those goals... Now I can set new goals in my career as I progress.
I met a young lady who had gone to the University of Arizona. She was just telling me about all benefits of the fellowship at U of A and the program. I decided at Leadership Institute that I was going to go back to school and get my Master's... I'm glad that I did it and I recommend it to anybody who would want to do it in the future.