Undergraduate Leadership Development at UW Bothell

Undergraduate Leadership Development at UW Bothell

Published: March 4, 2013

CEO Student Ambassador Cabinet — The title certainly commands attention. It's motivational. It is bold. It's what the student leaders of the Business & Organization Leadership Development program (BOLD) call themselves. For the past nine months, these students have volunteered more than 2,000 hours in developing BOLD, including its leadership programming and website.

BOLD Program Director, Susan Gibson says, "That is leadership in action." She says, "These students are helping to develop leadership skills in real time."

These pace setters are bold enough to invite top business leaders to share their insights on leadership and success and they expect nothing less than a "Yes." In return, business leaders encounter a room filled with professionally dressed students, ready to take notes and eager to engage in an informative exchange.

Reilly O'Sullivan is one of the program founders or Legacy 12. "BOLD offers undergraduates a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is very rare to come across such awe-inspiring CEOs who care about you and actually want to assist you in developing and improving your leadership skills." O'Sullivan says, "I highly recommend attending at least one BOLD event, it will change your life in a way you never thought possible. The motivation and knowledge you gain is truly remarkable."

BOLD, a non-degree program, provides three leadership options, Leadership Voice, Leadership Lab, and Leadership Lessons. All offer access to leadership development, each through customized events with industry leaders and each with specific prerequisites.

Recently, BOLD rolled out the red carpet at UW Bothell's Eastside Leadership Center (ELC). This time, it was a Leadership Lessons session featuring former President of Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Coffee International Howard Behar.

Behar, who authored the book, "It's Not about the Coffee," shared his secrets of successful leadership with blunt declarations like the sigh-inspiring, "I hate to disappoint you, but it isn't going to be about your degree." Of course, that was followed by gently imparting wisdom that the degree is just part of it, but the key is relationships.

Behar, who did not complete college, says he is always thrilled to speak to students who are eager to absorb leadership lessons. "It's a gift. It's energizing. I've done a lot of speaking and what I love most is the students, what they know, what they're thinking, what they're dealing with." He says, "Every time, I get an opportunity to learn."

ELC junior, Jon Visaisouk said he was encouraged by Behar's emphasis on relationships, "It's all about inspiring other people, and in helping other people they will help you and you will achieve your goals."

BOLD is doing just that. By helping others to achieve their goals, BOLD is experiencing success as well.