Wilson Leader and doctoral student Michelle Ogrodnik shares her thoughts on winning the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award, valued at up to $25,000. The award also includes a leadership development and career launcher program. Applications for the graduate stream of the WLSA are due March 29, and more information is available at wilsonleader.ca.
What has been most useful about the award program?
I’ve really appreciated the personalized mentorship opportunities. Through the WLSA I’ve connected with folks – selected based on my current interests and goals – whose insights have helped shape my ideas on what I’d like to do once I finish my PhD.
What, if anything, has surprised you about it?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the breadth of topics that we’ve had a chance to discuss as a WLSA cohort. While some elements of the program are tailored to our specific interests, other elements such as problem-based-learning sessions or assigned readings have focused on diverse and relevant topics outside of my discipline.
Is there anything you’ve done this year that you simply wouldn’t have, if you hadn’t been in the program?
I have met with some incredible mentors whose stories and experiences have helped shape my thinking around what I’d like to do “when I grow up.” Without the motivation and support through the WLSA, I wouldn’t have met these mentors.
What advice would you share with someone who’s considering applying?
My biggest piece of advice I’d share: If you’re on the fence, submit an application. It’s easy for the little voice in our heads to make us second guess ourselves, but your application is stronger than you think!