Retreat prepares Business School mentors for leadership

group of students in athletic wear stand for group photo in front of kayaking facility

Eighteen Business School peer mentors attended a Leadership Retreat focused on team-building, communication, valuing others and leading with their strengths. All of these areas are especially important as the peer mentors prepare to guide freshmen through this fall’s BADM 100 freshmen seminar.

The retreat kicked off with an active listening exercise by Communication Studies Instructor Rebekah Barrick-Butler. Allison Sikes, a Campbell MBA graduate and owner of Performance Strategy Solutions, also spoke on the value of confidence in communication.

“Professor Barrick-Butler and her advice to listen for more than just facts had the most impact on me. Her advice reminded me to lisen on a more personal level for ideas and feelings which will further my ability to connect and create meaningful relationships with those around me,” said first-time mentor Zach Howard. 

Students took a deeper look at themselves and their strengths through the (Clifton) Strengthsfinder workshop with Dr. Karen Mishra.

“I enjoyed learning about how to focus my efforts on using my strengths well rather than dwelling on what I am not as good at,” shared Miranda Quinn. “As a mentor, it is important to motivate other students to believe that they are unique and good at something. Therefore, I will definitely apply the strength-finding training. I want my mentees to feel the same pride I did when I learned that I had unique strengths from those around me and that they are valuable team players if they are open to being part of the team.”

A unique component of the BADM 100 Peer Mentor Program is the pairing of Alumni Mentors with current student mentors; many of the alumni mentors served as BADM 100 mentors during their time at Campbell. During the retreat, four alums mentors shared advice and encouragement. Rebekah Cheney (’13) was excited to share her experiences with the current Peer Mentors.

“I believe that opportunities like this leadership retreat prime students for the reality and challenges of cross-team collaboration— and the amazing benefits that stem from it,” Cheney said. “It also provides a space to come together with other leaders to build relationships and share ideas. Fine-tuning these skills before entering the workforce allows students to immediately begin contributing to their team or organization once they enter a professional setting.” 

The goal of the leadership retreat was to not only share strengths and skills with the students, but to also get them out of their comfort zone and help them connect with others. On Saturday, the group went kayaking together— paddling down the Cape Fear River in tandem kayaks.

“Throughout the leadership retreat I was challenged by having to engage in a of couple situations that made me feel nervous and self-conscious,” Elyse Gross reflected, “because initially I didn’t know any of my fellow peer mentors. After going through the two-day retreat, I was thrilled to have been able to participate and shared my positive experience with my friends and family. By being put in positions like being blindfolded and guided through Lundy by someone I had just met, I came out of these experiences with new friendships, more confidence building relationships and speaking to new people, and now feel more comfortable with being placed in unfamiliar circumstances.” 

While peer mentors have served in the Business School freshmen seminar for over a decade, this retreat is an example of the growth and focus on leadership that the program has seen in the past few years.

“I love that we have the opportunity to pour into the Peer Mentors and build them up as leaders, knowing that this will have an amazing ripple effect,” said Renee Green, Director of Leadership Development & Student Success for the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. “I hope the students will take the skills, advice and vision they gain through the program and use it to encourage and serve the freshmen, their community and in their future career.”