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Ignite Leadership Symposium Experience

By Megan Zheng

April 1, 2020

The three-day Ignite Leadership Symposium is one of the MBA events that I highly value. This event not only invites fellow alumni to share their insights, advice and career journeys, but also gives us a chance to work on local case challenges.

The theme for this spring’s leadership symposium was Social Impact, Sustainability, and Corporate Responsibility. We had 3 alumni, Amber Porter, Angie Peltzer, and Joe Nick, who gave their advice on these topics. They also shared tips such as what types of questions to ask during interviews and how to nail a job interview. When presented with the question of seeing whether a company is suitable for you, Joe’s response was refreshing to hear. He stated that we should find out if the human resources department takes on an administrative role or a strategic role. Generally, if the human resources department takes on a strategic role, then the company places high value on maintaining good company culture and sees the importance of their employees. His response resonated with me because I believe a strategic human resource department is vital to creating a successful company, and that is why I decided to pursue an MBA.

After the informational session, we moved on to the “Share Tank” Challenge that was sponsored by American Family Dreams Foundation. The two nonprofits that participated were the River Food Pantry and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Each nonprofit had its own challenges that were tasked to come up with suggestions and solutions for. My team was assigned to work on the River Food Pantry’s problem of having excessively long queues due to people’s food insecurity.

I always have a challenging but enjoyable experience during the Ignite Leadership Symposium. I learn about new topics and I am given another opportunity to work on real-world consulting projects. It is great to know that I’m becoming more at ease with working under time constraints and more comfortable with public speaking.