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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Make Time for OLEADS: It Will Change Your Life

March 13th, 2015
As part of the OLEADS leadership experience, students play 'Minute to Win It.'

As part of the OLEADS leadership experience, students play ‘Minute to Win It.’

by Kelsey Scanlan

I felt my gut begin to wrench as winter break came to an end. Anxious, I worried that only a few weeks off weren’t going to be enough to recover from the whirlwind that was my first quarter in veterinarian school. Don’t get me wrong, my excitement about being in the program hadn’t faltered, but it became over shadowed with stress and doubt. I questioned, “Can I do this?” “Will I make a good vet?” “Do I belong here with all of these smart classmates?”

As my mind continued to reel with concerns, a couple of friends from class asked if I would like to attend Oregon Leadership Experience and Dedicated Service (OLEADS) upon coming back from winter break. Feeling like I didn’t have time for this “leadership” experience, I was hesitant to go… “How could I possibly have time for that? I should clearly be studying instead,” I thought silently. Despite my worries I decided to attend, and soon discovered that OLEADS was not only a leadership event, but also an inspirational (and a much needed) one. It turned out to be a life-changing experience that not only improved my confidence in veterinary school, but it helped remind me why I got into this amazing profession in the first place.

OLEADS is a weekend leadership experience designed to give veterinary students and professionals the tools, knowledge, and experience necessary to be emotionally intelligent servant-leaders for the profession. Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first, and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

Developing these skills of being a servant leader will not only make you a great veterinarian, but a better and happier one as well. “Simply put, OLEADS changed my life…I wasn’t prepared for the mental and emotional challenges involved with being a new veterinary student, and OLEADS gave me the skills to deal with those. It also taught me that I wasn’t alone and that as veterinary students, we all have a common goal, and each of us has strengths to share with each other. I would recommend that everyone attend OLEADS because you never know what impact it might have on your life,” states Brittany Graham, a current third year student and past OLEADS attendee.

As in the past, an important aim of OLEADS 2015 is bringing happiness back to vet students and to remind you why you belong in this program and profession. OLEADS will exemplify your strengths, and you’ll bond with others over shared concerns. Take leadership of your career and your happiness and register today for OLEADS (April 11-12th). Register online at oleads@yolasite.com for $10.00, which is refundable upon attendance. Contact SCAVMA with any questions at SCAVMAEvents @oregonstate.edu.

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