Student Spotlight:

Cassidy Herring

Cassidy Herring, BJ ‘17

Novak Leadership Inaugural Class

“I set my sights on earning a summer internship with the United States Olympic Committee.”

At the beginning of the semester, we were challenged to set a “big goal” for ourselves and share it with our Leadership Development Teams. I set my sights on earning a summer internship with the United States Olympic Committee. My father was an Olympic fencer, and The Olympics holds a special place in my heart. It’s something I’ve been passionate about my whole life.

Working through David Novak’s Taking People With You process helped me understand the tangible steps I would need to take in order to achieve this goal. It challenged me develop a plan to influence my target audience, in this case the U.S. Olympic Committee internship recruiters. The course readings, lectures and self-assessment activities also helped me gain a better understanding of my strengths as a leader – from my collaborative conflict style to my high emotional intelligence – and provided a professional language to express these qualities.

I attended the USOC’s Internship Symposium in Colorado Springs armed with insights into myself and my audience. The USOC encouraged us to be bold, so I asked questions, shook plenty of hands, formed LinkedIn connections with personal messages, and sent follow up “thank you” emails and handwritten notes. These efforts set me up very well for the internship fair at the end of the weekend where many staff members knew my name and provided introductions and other recommendations. I shared my elevator pitch with an HR representative that led to an on-the-spot interview. We discussed the concept of “leaders eat last” and how every interaction – regardless of title, department, or role – is an opportunity to serve others. A few weeks later I received an invitation for a second interview, followed soon after by the best news possible: I got the internship!

I’m so thankful for the positive team environment and the actionable skills and strategies I’ve learned through the Novak Leadership class. Without it, I would not be heading to Colorado Springs to work for the USOC this summer for my dream internship! The class has prepared me to accomplish “big goals” that I’ll continue to set for myself as I develop as a lifelong learner and leader. I can’t wait to begin my journey as a member of the ‘team behind Team USA!”