When I first applied for the Zachry Leadership Program (ZLP), I had no idea what to expect. The program description talked about bridging the gap between engineering and business. Little did I know that not only would I be learning about business fundamentals, but also how to live my best life.
With the program, I have been able to grow as a more holistic individual, make new friends to last a lifetime and learn from amazing speakers and coaches. I cannot image my college experience without the ZLP.
ZLP is a five semester program focused on authentic leadership, with semester themes of self-awareness, empathy, creativity, vocation and wisdom. We have a four day intensive pre-semester retreat before each semester starts, along with two hour classes each week during the semester. The classes themselves have activities that include guest speakers, case studies, journaling, reading, group projects, etc.
Along with participation in many different activities, ZLP encourages us to be vulnerable. For me, the program helped me realize my vulnerabilities that I put other people’s needs before my own and keep myself busy to distract if I feel a lack of purpose. ZLP has helped me become at peace with my failures, and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. I have participated in activities I never thought I would, such as camping for five days or singing in front of 30 people. The program has helped me become a better listener, as I have learned so much from the peers in my cohort about leadership and life.
As a cohort, we became deeply bonded by this experience. We learned about our strengths and weaknesses, stood together when our friends broke down and cheered them on when they had a breakthrough. I know that each and every member of the ZLP will go on to become a strong leader because of this experience. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to make such wonderful friends that encourage me to be my authentic self.
The ZLP taught me that leadership isn’t about fitting a specific mold; it is about finding out who you are and how your uniqueness can lead those around you.
Interested in the Zachry Leadership Program?
The Zachry Leadership Program is a partnership between the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University and the Zachry Group. Do you want to get involved? Apply by June 1 for the 2019-20 class of cohorts