When Zipporah Foster, a senior at Winston-Salem State University, interviewed for a research position at the university, she says she was prepared for any question – even the dreaded “What is your biggest weakness?”
“I told them sometimes I can be a little too assertive, but that can be a good thing because I make sure things are right and accurate,” says Foster, a psychology major from Durham. “They were surprised with my answer.”
Foster attributes her interview preparedness to a two-day leadership program she completed as a junior. Last year, Foster became one of the first WSSU students to complete The BB&T Leadership Institute’s Emerging Leaders Certification Program. Nearly sixty students participated in the most recent sessions, a two-day session that ended Sept. 22. The BB&T-funded program offers key components of the company’s leadership curriculum to emerging leaders.
“At Winston-Salem State University, we are focused on providing our students with not only the soft skills to get hired but also the practical tools to become leaders in their chosen professions,” says LaMonica Sloan, director of career development services, which hosted the sessions. “The BB&T program has decades of proven success with generations of executives and managers.”
Students who complete the program earn an Emerging Leaders Certification.
“Through The BB&T Emerging Leaders Certification program, we’re excited to empower the next generation of leaders at Winston-Salem State University,” says Brittany Brown, vice president and student leadership programs manager for at the institute. “At BB&T, we don’t settle for the notion of a ‘born leader.’ We believe anyone can develop better leadership skills with the right training and investment. Each student will leave the program with an action plan to make their leadership more effective.”
This summer, Foster was accepted into WSSU’s MARC U*STAR program and is researching several topics this semester under Dr. Amber DeBono, assistant professor of psychological sciences, including decision-making and the student/coach relationship. Her ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.
“The (BB&T) program shows you all the traits to be a leader,” she says. “The leader should be someone who gets their part done, a team player who is respected and just holds their weight.”
The BB&T Emerging Leaders Certification Program will be offered again during the spring semester. Students interested in participating should visit by career development services on the campus.