ATLANTA – Georgia State University President M. Brian Blake addressed the fall 2021 WomenLead cohort during its culminating event of the semester: a poster presentation session where students discussed their future plans and personal leadership strategies with executives, community leaders and faculty. The virtual event was held Nov. 30 with support from Microsoft.
The session was an ideal introduction to the undergraduate leadership program for Georgia State’s eighth president, who joined the university in August. President Blake discussed how closely WomenLead aligns with two pillars in his First 100 Days message: student success and college to career.
“WomenLead turbocharges Georgia State’s college to career initiative. Events like tonight’s poster presentation, where students connect with inspiring community leaders and learn beyond the classroom, are critical to personal and professional development,” Dr. Blake said.
WomenLead poster presentation sessions are as meaningful to the mentors as the course is beneficial to the students.
- “How impressed the person I was four years ago would be with me now!” (student)
- “This course has taught me so much and built my network!” (student)
- “I learned more about myself than I ever would have imagined.” (student)
- “I feel like I learned more from the students than vice versa.” (mentor)
- “Great group of young future leaders!” (mentor)
- “Talking with these amazing women gives me great hope for the future.” (mentor)
WomenLead began in spring 2015 as a pilot program designed to equip undergraduate students to excel in school, enter the workforce with developed skills and find their place in leadership positions.
Six years later, more than 1,100 students from every university unit with undergraduate students have taken the course, which is offered as WomenLead in Business, WomenLead in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, WomenLead in Policy & Politics, WomenLead in Science, and WomenLead in Technology.
Through panel discussions and company site visits, WomenLead participants learn what executive leadership entails and how female executives have succeeded. Students also talk with women one-on-one and discuss the arcs of their careers, lessons learned along the way, and information about specific fields, industries and jobs. The curriculum includes a visions and values seminar, power networking events, guest speakers, and a design thinking challenge. Students also examine issues women face in the workplace and leadership skill development.
The semester-long course is open to all Georgia State undergraduates who meet the eligibility criteria. Students from every undergraduate unit of the university take WomenLead, and sections are taught by faculty from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business.
Learn more about WomenLead at robinson.gsu.edu/womenlead.