When Linda Dulye first explained to me the concept of the DLE and asked me to be a member of the faculty for the 2010 session, my interest was piqued immediately. The opportunity to interact with current university students as well as recent graduates and other faculty members from such a wide variety of walks of life really excited me. The experience was even better than I expected. I learned an incredible amount from the other faculty members, and also from the students. My eyes were opened to so many different perspectives – generational, international, academic disciplines and career paths.
Let me share just one example of many. I remember, during the first year, listening to a recent graduate talk about his experiences in the workplace. He mentioned that he felt that the ‘older’ people in the office viewed him as inexperienced and not adding much value to the organization. He mentioned that they seemed to avoid him. As one of those ‘older’ people – albeit in a different organization – I think of the younger generation as being much more savvy than I am in areas such as social media and communications technology. It occurred to me that both he and I perceived the ‘other’ generation as being more experienced in certain areas. Talking through these two different perspectives, we both realized that we could learn from and benefit from these generational differences rather than allowing them to make us feel uncomfortable.
I view my life as a lifelong learning experience, and the Dulye Leadership Experience is definitely a huge addition to this experience. The opportunity to share what I have learned in life with others in the program – and to hear their reactions and questions – have helped me look at my own life differently. I have learned so much from all the participants in the program, and I feel very privileged to serve on the faculty.