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Students succeed at learning to lead

Sussex students who took part in a challenging leadership programme have praised the experience.  

Jessica Collier was one of 28 students who benefited from the 'Learning to Lead' initiative, which is now in its second year. 

"Learning to Lead really helped me to learn about myself, about leadership and how I work in teams," says the first-year Physics and Astronomy undergraduate. 

"It was also a crucial experience to mention when I was applying for first year internships," she adds. "I got into the PricewaterhouseCoopers first year Insight Academy programme, and that's pretty much as a direct result of Learning to Lead." 

The Careers and Employability Centre teams up with international management-training consultancy Clemorton to offer the intensive 10-day programme, which uses a mixture of group and individual exercises, role play and experiential learning. 

Participants gain an understanding of the key skills, personal attitudes and experience that leaders need to develop, including team working, decision making and change management. 

With the aid of prominent Sussex alumni, students on this year's course researched and presented a 'think-tank' policy research proposal that was linked to one of the six Sussex research themes. 

The presentations to a panel of academic and business leaders covered topical issues including prisoners' voting rights; sexual health; transition to a low-carbon society; UK migration policy; holograms and the future of advertising; and cultural diversity and storytelling in education. 

"The skills I learnt during the week and in undertaking the policy research have been enormously helpful," says Law finalist Owen Lee. 

"Since attending the Learning to Lead course I've managed to gain a place on the prestigious Institute for Direct Marketing summer school, and out of 900 applicants I obtained one of five places on a graduate scheme with leading marketing agency Starcom MediaVest. 

"I have no doubt that the personal reflection and lessons learnt during the programme played an enormous part in helping me attain these positions. 

"Skills such as how to lead and manage effectively, adapt my behaviour to suit others in the team and how to coach effectively will be enormously useful in helping my marketing career progress in the future." 

The Learning to Lead programme is part of the Sussex Plus initiative, helping students to develop their skills and employability. 

The 28 students completing the course will receive affiliation to the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and Sussex Plus certificates at a celebratory event hosted by the Vice-Chancellor on Monday (20 June). 

The programme is funded by the Sussex Fund with the generosity of Sussex alumni.

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By: James Hakner
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2011