The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Preparation Meets Opportunity

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Barbara Olachea '19 learns about the documentary film industry during her internship with the Brave New Films foundation.

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Arati Gangadharan ’18 gains presentation skills as a Student Program Assistant for the Management and Leadership Development Program.

If, as the Roman philosopher Seneca observed, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” then the Rockefeller Center is all about creating moments of luck for Dartmouth students. 

Although funding is a key ingredient that makes a leave-term internship experience possible for many students, the Rockefeller Center is equally focused on offering programs that fully prepare students to succeed in those opportunities.

For many students, a leave-term internship experience is their first time in a professional environment.

“Navigating an internship can be nerve-wracking for a college student,” says Barbara Olachea ’19. “Rocky helped me acquire new ways of thinking and habits that proved useful during my internship. I came into my internship confident of my abilities to communicate efficiently with my supervisor and co-workers, as well as empowered to make the most of my time in the office by advocating for myself and showing initiative, especially at the beginning.”

Students are encouraged to participate in the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) or the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) or both either before or after a leave-term experience. These programs foster a sense of community within the larger Dartmouth population where students build on their previous experiences and learn to think critically about essential leadership skills.

MLDP sessions emphasize the importance of working effectively with others as well as focusing on hard skills like public speaking, negotiation, and writing for the workplace. Students work towards personal goals over the course of the term and continue to reflect on their perceptions of leadership during the sessions. They learn how small changes in personal attitude and behavior translate to being able to lead more effectively.

“I have learned what it means to lead, to manage, and to represent an idea greater than myself,” says Arati Gangadharan ’18. “The tools I have developed in MLDP will allow me to translate my time at Dartmouth into action building a greater world around me.”

RGLP focuses specifically on intercultural leadership skills. Students complete the program with greater intercultural communication skills, an understanding of the impact of culture, the ability to work effectively with people from other cultures, and greater self-awareness. Such dialogue and reflection promote a community that respects differences and uses them to better interact with the diverse 21st century world.

“RGLP showed me that to be a global leader, you need to have a deep, secure understanding of yourself and where you come from before you can try to interact with people of different backgrounds,” says Stephanie Everett ’19.

Through promoting reflection and emphasizing intentionality, the Rockefeller Center connects abstract leadership concepts to real-world experiences, giving each student the opportunity to prepare for and create their own luck.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences