Students blog

Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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  • Two male college students are standing in a hallway shaking hands. They are both dressed in business attire with suit jackets and ties.

    How New Leaders Can Help Their Teams Achieve Success

    Zachary Suozzo

    Being a good leader can be a major challenge. Successful teams are collaborative, communicative, and available. The pace of the pack is determined by the leader. New student leaders who have never had the opportunity to lead a team may wonder where to even begin. Focusing on three areas can help set new leaders up for success: identifying a leadership style, developing a community, and establishing good relationships with individual team members.

    Find your style

    Every leader, every team, and every individual on a team is different. There are 7 major styles of leadership: Autocratic, Authoritarian, Pacesetting, Democratic, Coaching, Laissez-Faire, and Affiliative. There is no cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all leadership style that works for every team, and that’s okay! Leaders have to figure out what leadership style their team responds best to. Leaders also must figure out which style best fits their own goals and ambitions. If one of those styles works with the leader’s goals and is responded to by the team, amazing things can happen, and serious productivity can begin.

    Build a community

    Individuals need to be comfortable with the leader and with their teammates for productivity to take place. Good leaders look for ways to foster a sense of community on the team. Many times, community building opportunities take place outside of working together on a project. Whether in-person or virtual, any environment where people are interacting with each other and not talking about work can bond a team together well. Common interests can improve team morale, leading to engagement that improves team productivity and allows for team members to be more approachable to each other.

    Cultivate relationships

    If the team trusts each other and communicates with each other well, their uniting force will be the leader. Having a solid individual relationship with each team member is extremely important for continuously elevating the team to the next level of performance and camaraderie. Taking the time to get to know each individual is time intensive, especially considering the potential size of a team, but is so important when it comes to morale, accountability, and communication. Individuals should feel as though they can come to their leader for anything and having a line of communication that’s always open is very important for that.

    Leading a team can be extremely time consuming and challenging, on top of all the work that comes with the task at hand. For a long-lasting relationship with success, teams need to be a cohesive unit. Effective team leaders carry out their work with a solid leadership style, help team members establish relationships with one another, and have an open line of communication at all times. Leaders can evolve; if one solution doesn’t work, keep trying to achieve that desired outcome!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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    Three Ways for College Students to Maintain a Strong Network

    Zachary Suozzo

    You’ve built a LinkedIn profile, created your first resume, and are connecting with people you meet. That means you are professionally developing! Networking is undoubtedly an important skill to have in today’s professional world, but how do you really make an impact and resonate with your network? It’s all in the authenticity you project plus the appreciation and kindness you show each individual in your network, and how those individuals see your appreciation, genuineness, and kindness to others in your network. 

    Show Appreciation

    In recent years, social media has taken over a majority of the ways people interact. Between extended families remaining close, new friends starting to connect and get to know each other, even businesses using it as a marketing platform, social media is big and everyone knows it. Use it to show appreciation to others.

    After attending a networking event or meeting a distinguished individual, post about it on social media to show thankfulness. This will not only give more attention to your profile, but also show appreciation and gratefulness to the event or individual. Tagging them will also nudge the individual to give your profile a look and hopefully remember the interaction, plus appreciate and reinforce the bond that was made. 

    Appreciation can also be shown by initiating a second interaction. A follow-up email or direct message displaying gratitude for the interaction can once again reinforce the bond that was created when you met. Showing appreciation is super important in strengthening your relationships with others as you grow your network! 

    Exude Genuineness

    Being genuine is an important follow up to the appreciation topic because appreciation that is overdone or overshown could be seen as inauthentic. Being genuine is keeping a consistent behavior and personality across all aspects of life. For example, if a person is enthusiastic and funny in a personal meeting, but blunt or inattentive over the phone, their behavior could be seen as inauthentic, and negatively impact their colleagues’ opinions of them. However, maintaining a consistent personality that is approachable and memorable both in person and otherwise can really make a person stand out. 

    Be Kind

    Finally, practicing kindness is of utmost importance to strengthen relationships within your network. One way kindness can be shown is by publicly proclaiming how a specific event, organization, or individual has contributed something to your life. This promotes your personal brand as a kind, appreciative, and genuine person to people who hear or see this sign of kindness second-hand. Other ways to show kindness include acts of community service, and random acts of giving time, money, or work to an event, organization, or individual. 

    Getting your name out in the world is a challenging thing to do. Resonating and making an impact on people you interact with is a skill that takes a lot of practice, but with determination, can be mastered. So go ahead, reach out to some connections you haven’t spoken to in a while. See how they are doing and strengthen those bonds!