By Milena Nutrobkina, Chemical Engineering, 2020-2021 SCS Student Advising Leader:
Are you a member of a registered student organization and would like to be part of the
committee? Or do you want to become more confident when presenting yourself to others? Or
you are committed to self-improvement but don’t know where to start? The leadership certificate
program is the perfect place to begin your leadership development journey. The leadership
certificate program is a tool for you to monitor your progress as you participate in leadership
experiences. The program identifies your strengths and weakness, discusses how you can
showcase those strengths as well as how you can improve on the weaknesses, and encourages
you to create your own philosophy about leadership. At the end of your journey, you will
synthesize all your experiences into an e-Portfolio, showcase it to other leadership certificate
members, and be able to use it as a resource on your resume for jobs and internships.
Throughout my on and off-campus experiences, I realized that being a leader means something
different to everyone. I joined the leadership certificate program because I wanted to learn more
about myself, including my strengths and how to showcase them as well as my weaknesses and
how to improve them. I wanted to explore different areas of leadership and define what it means
My favorite part about participating in the leadership certificate program was being guided by a
mentor who is a leader in her related field. By talking with her on a regular basis, I was able to
analyze my own core values, learn to prioritize better, and refocus on my values and my action.
Furthermore, throughout the leadership certificate journey, there are many i-Programs,
workshops, and team activities to participate in. I love how the leadership certificate program
guided me and encouraged me to think about the experience, how the experiences related to my
values, and how the experiences will help me build my leadership competencies that I set out to
develop from the beginning. I now understand myself better and know that I am able to
accomplish what I want as well as bring others up with me. The Illinois leadership certificate
program provided me with the tools to grow into my best and authentic self.
In addition to all the benefits that I gained in my leadership growth journey, what I would tell
another student who is thinking of how to improve their leadership skills is that the LCP will do
just that. There are so many i-Programs and workshops to choose from. From how to act with my
integrity and being open, to having the ability to reflect on your own privileges and relating back
to other, to avoiding systems thinking and bias, and many more. Going through The Illinois
Leadership Certificate Program has taught me more confidence, ability to empathize better with
others, stand up for what's right and be more creative, and I know that the leadership certificate
program will do the same for you.