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

Natalie Mendolia ’19 on Management and Leadership

Natalie Mendolia ’19 discusses leadership and communication with her peers in the Management and Leadership Development Program. (Photo by Hung Nguyen) 

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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.

Natalie Mendolia ’19, an Anthropology major modified with Economics, signed up for MLDP at the suggestion of a friend who completed the program last spring. Natalie was eager to meet new people — she is an ENFJ Myers-Briggs personality type, characterized by charisma, compassion, and extraversion.

Natalie decided to use her time in MLDP to craft a personal leadership challenge around her involvement with the Dartmouth Power Lifting Team. One part of the challenge was to talk with two senior members of the team and convince them that she should hold a leadership position going into her senior year.

One of the natural talents Natalie has as a leader is her ability to form authentic relationships with others. This was confirmed during the Week 2 MLDP session, when a separate personality test identified her as a “Social Servitor,” or someone adept at expressing concerns for the ones they lead. To Natalie, this was no surprise: “As someone who really likes communication and relationship building, I tend to get very excited by being around other people.”

But one thing Natalie realized along the way that there is more to being a leader. She noticed this during the Week 4 session with Stephen Spaulding, as it taught her that leading others also requires listening to them. “A lot of leading is listening, and in order to facilitate whatever [relationship] you’re trying to build, you need directions for that. And sometimes you may have the skills to guide people toward the goal, but they have the goal itself.”

Natalie brought the skills she learned to Power Lifting. This past winter, she became the team’s first female co-captain, and has committed to being a leader who listens. 

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

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