My Journey of Education with Leadership @ UTA
Howdy Mavericks!!!! With all the courage and motivation in me, and support from my parents, I began my journey towards my Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at UTA in Fall 2015. After coming here, I was amazed by the organizations and activities at UTA, which I learned about during the Graduate Orientation. I volunteered at the Super Service Saturday at the Arlington Animal Shelter where I met new people, leaders of organizations who told me more about the Leadership Honors Program, UTA Volunteers, Graduate Student Senate. I also attended the Leadership Retreat at Fall 2015. But this being my first semester as a graduate student I had to dedicate a considerable time to studies as well. I was yet to find my balance.
I joined the Graduate Student Senate, where I found my first mentor at UTA, a student from my same major, Sampath Reddy who was the Secretary of GSS and who guided me through the initial transition at UTA. Having prior experience serving as the Deputy minister of student congress during my schooling, I applied and was appointed as the Co-Chair of the Resolutions Committee at the Graduate Student Senate. My first task was a resolution on the Policy on Maternity and Paternity Leave for GTA/GRA and I had to work on it, do research and propose a solution. As GSS was a voluntary service, I could not find many people to support our committee and unfortunately, my committees Chair also took a break for personal reasons. Finally, I proposed the resolution and it was accepted at the Senate Meeting. And as a leader who took all the initiatives to get it done, I was awarded with the Stewart Harding Award from the Graduate Student Senate, which was a complete surprise to me and supported me financially too. I had not expected anything in return expect to develop my skills as a leader and serve, but I was recognized for my efforts. Due to my class schedule in 2016-2017, I could not be a member of the senate, but I coordinated with my colleagues on the happenings of the senate.
This meant I had some time to spare which I dedicated to the leadership honors program. This opportunity also gave me a chance to meet with a wonderful leaders on campus, and discuss the current issues of diversity in USA. Until a leader opens and speaks up, his voice would not be heard. We need to speak out loud for what we stand for.
The Leadership Honors Program, further gave me an opportunity to learn various other skills. I attended several workshops and programs organized by the LHP and other organizations at UTA. Through these events, I learned about time-management, career development skills, giving presentations, understanding people and a lot more. The most important workshop that I loved a lot was the True Colors. True colors is a personality assessment workshop and it helped me understand what my potential was. Making decisions as a leader is a skill that is learned only by experience.
Through the leadership center, I participated in the Certified Leaders Institute in Fall 2015, Expressions in Leadership Conference in Spring 2016, and Expressions in Leadership Conference in Spring 2017. In all the events, I attended plenty of seminars and workshops, where I learned more on leadership, what a leader should do and about the different hats of a leader. A leader must always be wearing several hats on his head, and serve in all the positions. A leader is not a person who commands, he is the person who motivates the team and works along with the team.
Finally, I would like to say that being involved in these Organizations and Extracurricular activities has helped me a lot and has not affected me in any way with my studies. A few people said “Concentrate on your studies, you cannot do research and extra-curricular work together”. But I excelled in my co-curricular activities, as well completed my Thesis research and worked as a Research Intern at the UT Arlington Research Institute. UTA has taught me a lot in terms of academics, leadership development, and my professors have been my best mentors. Currently, I have continued my career as a Doctoral Student in Aerospace Engineering at UTA concentrating on my research, still I am a proud Co-chair of resolutions committee of GSS!!!
Enjoy your life at UTA as Mavericks! #ShowUrMaverickPride
About the author:
Muthu Ram Prabhu Elenchezhian is a Graduate student in Aerospace Engineering who joined UTA for his master’s degree in Fall 2015. Currently he is pursuing his doctorate degree. He works as a Research Assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, Fort Worth. He also received his Honors in Leadership by Leadership Honors Program at UTA in Spring 2017. His research interests are in structures and composite materials