My voice rumbled within the confines of the IIT Tower foyer as I told the Scholars “Good morning! You can now check in.” They would rush to me and snatch their nametags from the piles on the table as I hurried to mark them present. A gleeful “Good morning, Alexis” would escape their lips, and in return, I would attempt to utter each of their 110 names. Eventually, I was able to attach a name to a face, and my check-in process ran much more smoothly. And as the Leadership Development Intern for the summer of 2016, the morning greetings were the only interactions that I was able to have other than the occasional peep into the classroom of one of my peers.
While my position limited me from establishing a founded relationship with more than a handful of Scholars, I was excited to return for the summer session this year with a new position as a Program Instructor. Upon doing so, I determined the value within the small interactions that I had as an intern which led me to see the growth within the Scholars and the importance of working with a program as prestigious and monumental as the IIT Global Leaders Program (GLP). Each student that I met last year flourished and became stronger and encapsulated the true meaning of a leader going into the 2017 Summer Session, and they acted as a source of guidance and assistance for the juniors. I was also able to create more founded connections with Scholars in my own cluster and felt as though I had a direct impact on them. I learned so much from them by uncovering their cultures, discussing what they find interesting, and by letting them give me music or literature suggestions. The bond that I had with my cluster as well as the bond that my cluster had with one another was unbreakable and strictly unique, and I was fortunate to have both experiences as an intern and an instructor under my belt.
As a shining light in my life for the last five years, GLP has provided me with more than the tools to become a leader and indulge in STEM, service, and exploration. From being an alum to working for the program for two years, I am able to see the impact that the program has had on me as well as the current and past students. With the assistance of Annie, Luke, Charlie, and all the past and current employees, GLP has flourished into a beautiful program that instills the value within being a well-rounded, inquisitive, helpful person into each Scholar, and I am grateful to have this experience and take it with me.
Alexis Hutchinson is an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis studying English Literature and Environmental Policy. She is an alumna of the Global Leaders Program.