Rockefeller Leadership Fellow: Jessie Colin '18

This series introduces the 2017-2018 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.

Leadership is a tool to inspire change in the world. One of my goals as a leader is to empower other people to tell their stories. Why? Because I genuinely believe that each person has the ability to change the world, though he or she must figure out where and how to leave an impact. RLF will teach me how I can lead others to achieve their own goals, effectively achieving their accomplishments. I want to learn how to bring others along with my visions with the implicit understanding that change cannot be done alone. The opportunity to participate in RLF will enable me to grow as an individual and as a team player both from my own insights and from my inspiring peers. As a leader, I am the first to admit that I have everything to learn from those around me. I am at a point in my life where I want to challenge myself to be the best leader I can be, though I do not know how to get there. RLF represents the opportunity for me to gain the skills to do just that.

As an aspiring human-centered designer, I believe that effective leaders can only find the best solutions to complex problems with a rich understanding of those impacted. I would love to develop my abilities to empathize with others across backgrounds and diverse perspectives. Empathy and collaboration are essential in teamwork, which is the hallmark of design and progress. Being an English major has allowed me to realize the importance of expression and communication. Sometimes it matters less what is being said, and more how it is being said. The nuances of communication such as persuasion, decision making, and conflict resolution interest me because I have much to learn in each of these areas.

My philosophy of leadership begins: “A good leader is present in mind, body, and spirit—be here now. She brings energy, enthusiasm, intensity, and intentionality to all her actions. She motivates and inspires others to be their best selves.” It ends with: “I believe that a leader understands her own power and knows that she cannot do it all alone.” As we move forward into the year ahead, I am excited to challenge my assumptions about leadership, practice what I learn, and grow alongside my peers in RLF as we become more confident, creative, and competent in our own leadership.

Jessie Colin ’18 grew up in San Rafael, California and graduated cum laude from Marin Academy. At Dartmouth, Jessie is a double major in Human-Centered Design, a special major she created, and English with a fiction concentration. She has been a teaching assistant for Design Thinking since she took the class freshman year and is now Lead TA. As a Paganucci Fellow this summer, she had the opportunity to explore the intersection of Human-Centered Design and non-profit consulting. She was a Presidential Scholar who worked with Professor Robbie to better integrate design thinking practices at Dartmouth. Her Introduction to Engineering invention won the Philip R. Jackson prize for the best project in the class. She went on to file a provisional patent, help found a company, and turn it into a culminating experience for BE students. She has led Women in the Wilderness and is a leader in both the mountaineering and hiking clubs. After graduation, Jessie plans to attend a graduate program in design to improve systems and services for people.

Edited by Alexandrea Keith '20, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications