When Zipporah Foster, a senior at Winston-Salem State University, interviewed for a research position at the university, she says she was prepared for any question, even the dreaded, “What is your biggest weakness?”
“I told them sometimes I can be a little too assertive, but that can be a good thing because I make sure things are right and accurate,” says Foster, a psychology major from Durham. “They were surprised with my answer.”
Foster attributes her interview preparedness to a two-day leadership program she completed as a junior. In Fall 2015, Foster became one of the first WSSU students to complete The BB&T Leadership Institute’s Emerging Leaders Certification Program.
Nearly 60 WSSU students participated in the most recent sessions on Sept. 20 and 22.
Through the program, BB&T offers key components of its leadership curriculum to emerging leaders. The program is funded through BB&T.
“At Winston-Salem State University, we are focused on providing our students with, not only the soft skills to get hired, but also the practical tools to become leaders in their chosen professions,” said LaMonica Sloan, director of Career Development Services, which hosted the sessions. “The BB&T program has decades of proven success with generations of executives and managers.”
Students who complete the program earn an Emerging Leaders Certification.
"Through The BB&T Emerging Leaders Certification program, we’re excited to empower the next generation of leaders at Winston-Salem State University,” said Brittany Brown, vice president and student leadership programs manager for The BB&T Leadership Institute. “At BB&T, we don’t settle for the notion of a ‘born leader.’ We believe anyone can develop better leadership skills with the right training and investment. Each student will leave the program with an action plan to make their leadership more effective."
This summer, Foster was accepted into WSSU’s MARC U*STAR program and is researching several topics this semester under Dr. Amber DeBono, assistant professor of psychological sciences, including decision-making and the student/coach relationship. Her ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.
“The (BB&T) program shows you all the traits to be a leader,” she says. “The leader should be someone who gets their part done, a team player who is respected and just holds their weight.”
The BB&T Emerging Leaders Certification Program will be offered again during the spring term. Students who are interested in participating, should stop by Career Development Services.
WSSU’s Career Development Services partners with employers to prepare students for the ever-changing workplace. For more information, please visit www.wssu.edu/careerservices.
About Winston-Salem State University
Winston Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be through leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.
The BB&T Leadership Institute
During the past half-century, The BB&T Leadership Institute, and its legacy firm Farr Associates, has developed and refined approaches to business leadership through collaborative work with clients in top companies throughout the United States. The BB&T Leadership Institute provides organizations with a leadership development partner that helps create dynamic and effective leaders, increase employee retention and improve the bottom line. Beginning with each client's specific goals and challenges, the Leadership Institute’s consultants identify the best approaches to address a company's needs and tailor offerings to individual executives, teams, or both. Its offerings also include research, educational programs, and consulting to help develop leaders in the education and nonprofit sectors. More information can be found at www.bbtleadershipinstitute.com.