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

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Spencer Chu '16

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This series introduces the 2015-2016 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Each fellow reflects on why he or she wanted to be a part of the program and what aspects of leadership most interests them.

I am interested in the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Program because, while I have had a number of leadership positions, I have a lot to learn about being an effective leader. I think that participating as a fellow will give me an unparalleled opportunity to learn from experts in leadership and from peers who I may not otherwise interact with on campus. My leadership experiences have been confined to my specific commitments on campus, and I am very curious how leadership is embodied in other organizations.

I am interested in a career in which I can apply my technical background to business problems. While I have enjoyed my more technical education, I am more interested in working on the business side of technical products. Specifically, based on my internship experiences, I am very interested in working on the business side of software companies. While at Dartmouth I have been lucky enough to hold a variety of leadership positions. In the Dartmouth Outing Club I have served on the directorate as both the Treasurer and President, and I am a wilderness leader in four of the sub-clubs. Through the DOC First Year Trips program I have been a trip leader and the Sustainability Coordinator for the directorate. All of these experiences have given me great experiences of working with groups of directors to accomplish our goals. Over Sophomore Summer I was the Dartmouth Sustainable Bikes Program Manager which allowed me to experience managing a number of mechanics and learn how to delegate more effectively. Finally as captain of the Woodsmen’s Team and director of Dartmouth Woodsmen’s Weekend I have gained a lot of experience liaising with leaders of other teams and local businesses to organize timbersports competitions.

I believe that I would add an interesting perspective to the next RLF delegation because the bulk of my leadership experiences at Dartmouth have been within the context of outdoor leadership. I think that I would be able to add a different perspective than many other members of the delegation because I have had a lot of experience dealing with leading and teaching situations that involve large amounts of personal risk. I would love to share what I have learned about managing risk in the outdoors with other members of the delegation. On the flip side of that I would hope to learn more about non-outdoor leadership experiences. I have had very little exposure to Greek organizations on campus, and I am curious what I can learn from their leadership structures. Finally, I would generally like to learn more about how leaders in different parts of campus perceive leadership and how they approach different challenges relating to issues surrounding campus climate.

Spencer Chu ’16 grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from the Pembroke Hill School. During high school, he was captain of the varsity Swim Team, president of the Cooking Club, and captain of the Math Team. At Dartmouth, Spencer is an Engineering Sciences major and an Education minor. He is the incoming president of the Dartmouth Outing Club and has served on the club directorate in a variety of capacities. Chu is also the captain of the Dartmouth Woodsmen’s Team and planned Woodsmen’s Weekend 2015, a two day intercollegiate timbersports competition at Dartmouth. Spencer has been involved in the Dartmouth Sustainability Project as an intern and as the Sustainability Coordinator for DOC First Year Trips. He conducts research in the Education Department, is a Wilderness Leader in Cabin and Trail, and has been an Engineering Teaching Assistant. After graduation, Spencer hopes to pursue a career in business at a technology company; he also hopes to one day start his own company.

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