Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of attending Dartmouth College. My family has a summer home in Sunapee, NH, so I grew up visiting the Dartmouth campus. I had ski races at the Dartmouth Skiway and watched Dartmouth football games with my grandfather, a Dartmouth ’53. So, from an early age, I bled Dartmouth Green. When it came time to apply to college, the decision was easy. I applied early decision to Dartmouth and was fortunately accepted.
While the Rockefeller Center was not directly a factor in my decision to attend Dartmouth, I chose to attend Dartmouth because of the values that the Rockefeller Center, like many institutions on campus, embodies. Dartmouth’s 12th President, John Sloan Dickey, once said, “the world’s troubles are your troubles.” While the quote is often overused on campus, Dartmouth has actively embraced the nexus of rigorous academics and a commitment to lifelong service. Institutions like the Rockefeller Center not only promote this mission of social action and civic engagement but also provide students with the leadership frameworks to take their passions and put them into practice.
During the spring of my junior year, I participated in the Management & Leadership Development Program (MLDP). During this term-long program, the Rockefeller Center brought in weekly guest speakers to discuss issues of management and leadership theory, including communication skills, decision making, group facilitation, and strategic planning. To my knowledge, the Rockefeller Center is the only places on campus where students are exposed to these leadership frameworks in a formal undergraduate setting.
As a continuation of my relationship with the Rockefeller Center, during my senior year, I joined the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF). RLF is a senior fellowship that provides a small group of Dartmouth seniors an opportunity to explore leadership concepts, as well as to reflect back on their own leadership styles. I learned an incredible amount about different leadership styles from both the guest speakers and the extraordinary seniors involved. I improved my public speaking, learned about negotiation, and took time to reflect back on my four years at Dartmouth.
Overall, the Rockefeller Center has given me the skills and confidence to take risks as a leader both on and off campus. While at Dartmouth, for example, I co-founded a student-run non-profit, Project RightChoice, which raised nearly $200,000 in its first two years of operation. Without a doubt, the public speaking skills and leadership frameworks that I learned at the Rockefeller Center have made me both a better member and leader of Project RightChoice.
As a result of my undergraduate education at Dartmouth and my relationship with the Rockefeller Center, I am now leaving Dartmouth as an individual who remains committed to lifelong service, who continues to seek academic rigor, and who pledges a career to the understanding that the world’s troubles are my troubles and “there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.”