On Feb. 3, 2017, student officers of the Smith Master Student Association (SMSA) and affiliated clubs at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business participated in a day-long program with the Gettysburg Leadership Experience in Gettysburg, Pa.
The engaging program was designed specifically for the Smith School’s specialty masters students with an emphasis on promoting strong communications skills as student leaders. To prepare for the day, students read the historical novel Killer Angels, the story of the Battle of Gettysburg from the viewpoints of the most significant Civil War leaders.
The learning modules included “Anticipatory Leadership,” “Transactional and Transformational Leadership” and “Predictable Surprises.” Chuck Burkell, a Licensed Battlefield Guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park led the training and discussion. Each of the leadership modules was discussed in the context of Civil War characters and events. In the afternoon, the students travelled by bus to several stops at critical points on the battlefield. While bearing the very cold weather, students were able to stand at the exact locations where military leaders made key decisions during the Civil War, and discuss concepts that could be applied to their work as club leaders and as future business leaders.
Sharon (Xuyang) Zhou, President of the Master Service Learning Club, shared her experience:
“The Gettysburg trip was an unforgettable experience for me. I was able to physically be at the exact place where Civil War battles happened, imagine the situations where military leaders made critical strategies to play against each other, and reflect on what I would do to tackle leadership problems. History never fails to teach us valuable lessons. Anticipatory leadership was the most important concept I learned—how to position myself and to act based on predictions for the future. This concept instructs me to think ahead and act based on a prediction of future rather than on a current situation. I also get a chance to reflect on my communication skills, specifically, when to use transactional style and when to use transformational style to facilitate a better communication and to achieve a better result for teamwork.”
To learn more about the specialty masters programs at Smith, visit: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/ms
- Amy Swann, Smith Specialty Masters Programs