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From Walter Center: Behind the Scenes With Select Leader Sierra Smith

Monday, February 17 2020 01:10pm

On January 31, VP of Nike, Ann Hebert, came to Ohio University to speak to over 200 students about her journey within the company. Working behind the scenes to produce this event was a member of the Walter Center, Sierra Smith.

Sierra is majoring in Finance and Business Analytics. She is the co-founder of Women in Finance, VP of Mentorship for Select Leaders, a COB Student Ambassador, and Links Peer Mentor. The Walter Center sat down with Sierra for an interview to understand her thought process on how she helped make this event so successful while navigating multiple other responsibilities.


Walter Center: What made you want to plan this event for Ann Herbert?

Smith: “Women in Finance is always looking for diverse opportunities and perspectives for their members, so when this opportunity was presented, I was immediately on board. Ann Hebert was a finance major at OU but went on to have a sales career. She shows us that there’s more than one path that students can go in and a testament to this.”

Although Sierra did an amazing job planning this event, she stated that the event would not have gone as smoothly without the help of the Select Leaders Developmental Program.

“In this program, part of the curriculum learned is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The habit: “Begin with the end in mind” truly helped me plan this event because I was able to think about what I wanted the outcome to be and work backwards,” Sierra said.

“Also, we learned a lot about executive presence in our, “Speak as well as you think" curriculum. I was constantly communicating with high-level faculty over the course of the event, as I had to introduce Ann to 200 people and somehow I felt prepared to do this due to the curriculum taught in this program.”

Sierra also offered advice for anyone given a chance to give any lasting advice for students wanting to plan events.

  1. Utilize your resources. Sierra mentioned that there are so many resources students have access to but just don’t know about whether that be for monetary purposes such as SAC or utilizing faculty to help out.
  2. Recognize just because it seems hard doesn't mean it’s impossible. If you're afraid than you should probably do it because that is how students can learn and grow.

Again, Sierra planned and executed such an amazing event that was relatable to many students. It is always reassuring to see the impact the Walter Center has on students in whatever endeavors students decide to take on. 

More about Ann Hebert's Athens visit: Ann Hebert returns to alma mater to share her journey from OHIO to Nike executive (Ohio Today News)