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A new group of leaders emerges

A program for Queen's staff members is training the next generation of campus leaders.

[Emerging Leaders talking]
Participants in the Emerging Leaders Program discuss what they have learned over the past seven months

Karen Zuliniak loves the work that she does as Program Manager of the MBA at Smith School of Business, and she had recently been looking to prepare herself to take on greater responsibilities at work. When applications opened for the Emerging Leaders Program last fall, she knew that she wanted to pursue the opportunity.

Along with the rest of her cohort, Zuliniak graduated from the seven-month Emerging Leaders Program on Friday, June 14. Looking back on the program, she believes that she got exactly what she wanted out of it.

“I learned very practical management skills that I will be able to apply as my career moves forward. It was also great to work with other aspiring leaders on campus and learn about our different approaches to similar challenges,” Zuliniak says. “I really value the opportunities that Queen’s provides to continue to learn and grow as a professional. It’s fantastic to have this level of support.”  

The Emerging Leaders Program is one of a number of different courses offered by Human Resources that staff members can take part in to expand their skill sets and develop their careers. The course is designed for new and future managers who would like to build skills, such as communication, collaboration, coaching, and relationship building, that will help them develop into effective supervisors.

Over a period of seven months, starting last November, the participants in the program took seven full-day training sessions that were broken into three different modules. The first module, “Managing Self,” helps participants to identify their leadership styles and introduces the essential skills required for management. In the second module, “Managing Relationships,” participants learn how to manage both conflict and change. Finally, the third module focuses on the theme of “Managing the Organization,” and it teaches skills such as managing within the frameworks of the Human Rights Code and employee and labour relations standards.

In addition to these day-long sessions, participants in the Emerging Leaders Program are also paired with a mentor. These mentors are all graduates of the Foundational Leadership Program, which is also offered by Queen’s Human Resources. Over the course of the program, mentors meet with their mentees at least once a month to provide informal feedback and help them work on the practical application of the skills they are learning in the program.

Shannon Hill, Learning and Development Specialist in Human Resources, is one of the organizers of the program.

“Each year, I am astounded by the energy and creativity of all of our participants,” she says. “The people who take this course will be helping Queen’s fulfil a wide range of its goals – everything from advancing financial sustainability to improving equity, diversity, and inclusion – and I think the Emerging Leaders program is setting up participants to succeed, no matter what area of the university they work in.”

Applications for the next cohort of the Emerging Leaders Program will be available in the fall, and they will be posted to the Learning and Development website. Queen’s employees interested in the program need to secure the support of their direct supervisor in order to apply. Through the office of Learning and Development, Queen’s employees have access to a variety of resources, including the Tuition Assistance Program and the Lending Library