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

Rocky and Me: Doug Phipps '17 Senior Reflection

Rocky & Me_Phipps

Doug Phipps, member of the Dartmouth Class of 2017. (Photo by Sally Kim)

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Doug and fellow MLDP participants take part in a teamwork session facilitated by Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership. (Photo by Hung Nguyen)

Rocky & Me_Phipps

Doug serves as the Student Program Assistant for Student Mini-Grants, chairing a committee responsible for funding student applications to attend conferences or hold events on campus. (Photo by Hung Nguyen)

Article Type 

In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

My time working for the Rockefeller Center has given me great confidence in my abilities to lead, facilitate, and communicate. Yes, those sound like buzzwords, but hear me out—it’s only the introductory sentence! Seriously: if you are looking to improve yourself, work an engaging on-campus job, or hear an honest perspective on the Rockefeller Center, I invite you to continue reading.

I got involved with Rocky because I wanted an on-campus job, so I signed up for Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) at the beginning of my sophomore spring primarily because it was a prerequisite to work there. MLDP taught me an important lesson about Rocky (which coincidentally applies to life as well, but for the purpose of this post, I won’t go there): it’s what you make of it. Not every MLDP participant I’ve spoken to loved the program, but many of the people who don’t like it, are the same people who didn’t fully engage in it. I know I gained something valuable during each MLDP session. The most noteworthy example for me was during a session facilitated by Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership. His session on teamwork inspired me to think about the fundamentals of empathetic communication-something I now consider to be among my greatest strengths. It’s been two years since I’ve taken MLDP, but that session remains in my mind.

After completing MLDP, I began working for Rocky as the Student Program Assistant for Communications, a job that required me to post things to the Center's website like this article and manage Rocky’s Facebook Page. The job was demanding, but Rocky and my wonderful supervisor Assistant Director Elizabeth Celtrick empowered me to make real changes to Rocky’s communications strategy and supported me unconditionally. The skills I learned here translated to my work as DOC First-Year Trips Outreach Coordinator last year, where I managed the social media and communications presence for Dartmouth’s outdoor pre-orientation program.

I enjoyed working for Rocky in that capacity, but I wanted to work with the wonderful programs and people at Rocky in a more personal environment. During my Senior year, I have been Rocky’s Student Program Assistant for Student Mini-Grants, chairing a committee of Rocky student staff responsible for funding student applications to attend conferences or hold events on campus related to Rocky’s mission. With support from my supervisor Finance Manager Lynn Spencer, I have matured into an inviting facilitator that prioritizes hearing all voices and opinions.

My work at Rocky has played an important role in making me feel confident in my leadership and facilitation skills, which have been so helpful in my work directing this year’s DOC First-Year Trips program. These skills will continue to drive me towards my intended career as a teacher, where my facilitation skills will be key in bringing out the best in all of my students. I owe a debt of gratitude to the staff and my fellow students at Rocky for the time and commitment they have put into Rocky and into my development. Thank you, Rocky!

Written by Douglas H. Phipps, member of the Dartmouth Class of 2017.

Click here to read an article Doug wrote for the D http://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2017/03/phipps-the-trips-director-cant-bike

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