Here’s how you can become a great leader

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Every year, student leaders from the greater St. Louis area gather to gain, tweak and develop old and new leadership concepts. Through keynote speakers, breakout sessions and an engaging lunch session, students leave SOLD, Summit on Leadership Development, with knowledge of the steps to be successful in their college years and beyond.  

“SOLD is important because it’s a good opportunity for students to gain skills that will help them in their personal lives and in their role as a leader on campus,” said Brian Gardner, Assistant Dean/Director of Student Involvement.

What once was a partnership between Maryville University and Fontbonne University, SOLD has sprouted into a regional conference for not only St. Louis student leaders, but for others including Springfield, IL and Wichita, KS. Students who attend SOLD also have the opportunity to network with other student leaders that attend from other areas.

The Summit on Leadership Development, hosted by Maryville University. Photo courtesy of Macie Maislin.

“It was a really rewarding experience because you get to sit and listen in helpful seminars. I’ve attended SOLD conferences at WASHU and one at Maryville,” said Bryant Webster, fourth-year student. “I got the opportunity to present here at Maryville on servant leadership, which is where you work to develop those around you instead of just commanding them. Basically, you’re in there alongside of them, doing it with them and helping them grow overall.”

This year’s keynote speaker, Natalie Keller Pariano, is the founder of Natterdoodle. Her company, Natterdoodle, is based out of Columbus, Ohio, and it is focused on creating art through handwriting encompassing “doodled words, especially positive messages, snarky truths and happy thoughts,” according to her website.

Doodling endlessly as a kid, Pariano found herself using her “funky writing” as an outlet for stress relief and a hobby that she soon took the world of Instagram. Doodling positive affirmations, quotes, song lyrics and more, Pariano soon developed a name for her posts, “Natterdoodle,” in homage to her college nickname created by her friend. Natterdoodle has now made a home at 14 retail locations and is continuing to spread and thrive today.

Registration for SOLD is free for Maryville, WashU and Harris-Stowe students, and only $15 per person for all other students. Discounts are available; bring 10 people for $100 or 20 people for $200. Participating in the conference includes access to all SOLD sessions, a conference gift and lunch.

“The conference completely opened my eyes about the different programs at all the St. Louis schools. I not only got to see how the newspapers and publications at Wash U., UMSL and SLU worked, but I also got to meet the student leaders and pick their brains. I made connections with some of the student leaders that I still keep in touch with and can see how people in similar positions can do things differently and really master the development of my leadership skills,” said Sarah Heet, fourth-year student.

The 14th annual SOLD conference takes place February 10, 2018, at Maryville University. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn the valuable leadership skills and competencies. Register for SOLD here. Contact Brian Gardner at bgardner@maryville.edu or at (314) 529-9480 If you have any questions about registering for SOLD.

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