Jimmy Fitzgerald '20 on Management and Leadership

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.

James “Jimmy” Fitzgerald ’20 is an Economics major from Champaign, IL, who took MLDP in the winter of 2018.

Jimmy implemented a Personal Leadership Challenge (a component of the program) which focused on the founding of his own student group, the Dartmouth Real Estate Club. According to Jimmy, the club’s framework already existed, but it had been dormant for the past few years. The challenge he gave himself was to revitalize the club by crafting a mission of purpose and setting goals for its new members.

The club officially launched at the end of the winter term.

As the club’s president, Jimmy cited some initial hesitancy in his public speaking skills. Throughout the nine MLDP sessions, he and his fellow participants noticed his gradual improvement. Specifically, Jimmy cites the Week 4 Session on Public Speaking facilitated by Belinda Chiu ’98, a Senior Associate Director with the Undergraduate Addmissions Office, as helping him the most in his new role. "With the startup of the Real Estate Club, I was doing a lot of public speaking, especially during meetings," says Jimmy. "Belinda helped me build a stage presence in order to communicate well with people.”

While his PLC went through some changes during the term, its implementation was a success. The club went from a few members in the winter to over 60 undergraduates a term later, and it is one of the few clubs that has a direct connection with mentors at the Tuck Business School. Jimmy says MLDP has had a lasting impact on how he conducts the club’s meetings and has thus contributed to the club’s success.

“One of the big takeaways was learning how to just be yourself when getting the message across, and being mindful of the audience in every public speaking situation," says Jimmy. "I was able to use that in the Real Estate Club meetings, and, to this day, I still refer back to the handout she [Belinda] gave us when I’m getting ready for meetings.”

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