Alumni, Students Connect at Leadership Event

A student writes on the white board during a Fuel the Fire sessionLeadNow’s Fuel the Fire conference heated things up Jan. 19 as students sparked their leadership potential.

Fuel the Fire is an annual conference where students learn some valuable leadership skills, as well as complete two LeadNow® sessions in one day. LeadNow is Concordia’s signature leadership program.

More than 60 Concordia alumni also attended and talked about their careers and leadership journeys since graduating from Concordia.

“It gets students engaged and help them use the leadership knowledge from the sessions and put it into their real life,” said the event’s planning intern, Kaia Lunde ’13, Cooperstown, N.D.

Kristi (Winegar) Wieser ’84, president of the National Alumni Board, kicked the day off with a keynote speech about how to ensure your career is not short lived when leading a global team. As a global program executive for IBM, Wieser gave important advice on how to become responsibly engaged in the world.

Meeting in small groups, students ate lunch with Concordia alumni who now have jobs in the students’ fields of study.

Connecting with alumni can be particularly meaningful, said Preston Johnson ’11, a creative writer at Sundog, a marketing and technology firm.

“It gets students set up to go into the job market and gives them a little bit of a taste of what their college’s alumni are doing,” he said. “I really love seeing all these students who are just getting settled to change the world.”

It also gives students an opportunity to imagine where their own career paths might lead.

“It allows students to ask questions,” Lunde said. “They learn what they can do with their major.”

Nearly 300 students participated.

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