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

Allison Anderson ’20 on Management and Leadership

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Allison Anderson ’20 discusses the importance of voicing her own opinion, and encouraging others to do the same, as one of the great characteristics of an exceptional leader.

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The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that prepares students to succeed in all of their management and leadership endeavors.

Allison Anderson ’20, a major in Engineering, took MLDP in the winter of 2018.

Allison designed a personal leadership challenge intended to teach herself how to vocalize opinions when they may conflict with those of others. She recounted that during her senior year of high school, being the captain of the school track team was a bit harder for her whenever she had to address conflict. Now a sophomore in college, she recognized that she would need to overcome this obstacle in order to further pursue leadership positions at Dartmouth.

One of the ways Allison set out to accomplish this was by speaking more in one of her classes in which many students were afraid to speak. Allison remarked that the professor’s teaching style engaged students to voice opinions that were not shared by the professor herself.  This approach sometimes pushed students beyond their respective comfort zones, as they were less willing to express opinions that seemed to not agree with those of the professor.

Nonetheless, Allison set out to find her voice anyways, which sometimes resulted in an engaging back and forth between her and the professor.

But seeing her bravery, other students decided to join Allison. A group effort led by Allison and her fellow classmates transformed the classroom environment into one that fostered free-flowing conversation.

She credits the Week 4 session with Dr. Belinda Chiu for giving her the confidence to speak publicly. While the session focused on improving speaking in a more formal setting, Allison commented that Dr. Chiu’s advice helped her to speak assertively in a variety of contexts.

Allison plans to establish a leadership presence on the Dartmouth track team. She believes that being a leader is more than holding an official position. For Allison, voicing her own opinion, and encouraging others to do the same, is one of the great characteristics of an exceptional leader.

-Written by Tyler Malbreaux '20, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for MLDP

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