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Student blog

Jennifer Veres

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), specialising in Management. Next year I’m hoping to get into the Management Doctoral Program.

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be nominated for an AIM Leadership Excellence Award, by the coordinator of the Monash Business School PAL program, Allison Richardson.

AIM Leadership Excellence Awards

AIM Leadership Excellence Awards

The Australian Institute of Management (AIM) Leadership Excellence Awards recognises the exceptional work of leaders across Australia, and acknowledges the importance of good management. There were five categories that people could be nominated for: Emerging Leader of the Year, Leader/Manager of the Year, Not-for-Profit Leader of the Year, Owner/Entrepreneur Leader of the Year, and Student Leader of the Year. I was nominated for the Student Leader of the Year award.

As part of my nomination, I was required to complete a series of questions about my work within the university, and I also had to demonstrate how I have developed my leadership qualities during my time at Monash. This opportunity was exciting for me because I have never been nominated for an award before, much less one as prestigious as the AIM Leadership Excellence Awards!

Interviews were held on Thursday 15 September in office spaces on Collins Street in the city. The interview process was almost like going for a job interview: I sat in front of a panel of professionals from various fields, and they asked questions regarding my roles at Monash and how I have developed my leadership skills during my time at university.

The finals for the AIM Leadership Excellence Awards were held later that same evening at the RACV Pavilion, and I was one of the three student finalists for the state of Victoria. I was incredibly proud of myself!

Going through the application and interview process really helped me to reflect on the achievements I have made so far. I often spend so much time trying to achieve goals and dreams that I have set up, that I often forget to take a minute to look back at all the things that I have already accomplished. Appreciating these smaller accomplishments also helped me to realise the different areas of leadership that I still need to work on, and as a result I have begun making plans as to how I will develop these new skills in the future.

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Building strong relationships and lifelong friends

I’ve always been interested in leadership, even from quite a young age.

In 2014, I completed the Ancora Imparo Leadership Program. This program was fantastic as we were given the opportunity to hear from inspiring individuals each month, and we were also able to have really in-depth and interesting discussions around current issues in modern societies. In 2014 and 2015,  I was also the President of the Monash Exchange Club and completed the Monash Business School PAL Program.

This year, as part of my casual role at Monash University, I was given the opportunity to coordinate the student volunteers for Open Day at the Caulfield Campus. This experience allowed me to use my leadership skills to build strong relationships with all the ambassadors, and assist in running a successful Open Day!

What I think it means to be a leader

I believe that everyone is a leader of some kind – whether it’s for an organisation, or even within their own personal lives. Each individual should strive to develop their leadership skills over the course of their lifetime, so that they can continue to grow as an individual. Because without leadership, greatness is not possible.

I think the best piece of advice that I have ever received was from my dad, who is also my role model. He has always told me that it doesn’t matter what decisions I make in my life, as long as I believe in those decisions, and therefore believe in myself.

Being a leader means standing up for yourself, and believing in what you are doing.

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