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

Sam Seifert ’20 on Management and Leadership

18S MLDP Sam Seifert

Sam Seifert ’20 is a Geography and Government Double Major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

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

Sam Seifert ’20, a Geography and Government Double Major from Knoxville, Tennessee, decided to participate in MLDP after hearing friends talk about their positive experiences in the program.

He entered the program with a desire to learn how to build relationships. As a member of numerous clubs around campus — DMBC, TRIPS, STRIPS, to name a few — Sam says he has grown in his capacity to relate to others. However, his newest venture required him to act in a leadership position unlike any he had ever held.

Sam plans on launching a website called DartArt, a platform that allows students to pursue artistic passions outside of the classroom by showcasing their work online. The artwork can then be sold to other students or alumni, who previously would not have had easy access to these artists’ work. Sam believes one of the keys to making DartArt successful is effective communication with his team of artists.

“Working to achieve a vision and encouraging those around you to invest their unique strengths makes your goals a mutual and rewarding process,” says Sam.

One of the most rewarding sessions of MLDP for him was during Week 6 “Building Relationships” facilitated by Kate Hilton ’90, Founding Director of ReThink Health. During one of the opening activities, Kate invited one of the participants up to the front of the room to practice a 1-on-1 conversation. The goal was to demonstrate a five-minute, structured conversation centered on purposeful exploration and mutual commitment, that felt natural and unforced. Through this real-life exercise, Sam was reminded that active listening is one of the hallmarks of leadership and that it produces tangible benefits. Growing as a leader means recognizing the strengths of those around you and encouraging them to collaborate.

Because of MLDP, Sam learned that by “highlighting the greatness of others, an individual can truly lead and manage a diverse team united in a common goal.” In this spirit, Sam plans to continue work on making DartArt a success.

-Written by Tyler Malbreaux '20, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for the Management and Leadership Development Program

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