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From Walter Center: SLDP Alumni give Valuable Advice to Current Students

Monday, September 23 2019 05:00pm


Last Tuesday, the Select Leaders Development Program (SLDP) had the opportunity to interact with four alumni from various years in the program to talk about career transitions. This topic resonated with many SLDP members, since a large portion will be graduating or moving away for their internships. The alumni in the Skype session included:

  • Michael Buckles '19
  • Natalie Clark '18
  • Kelly Mayor '15
  • Victor Colella '13

 A series of questions was asked to each alumnus. One question that particularly stood out to the group was: “What skills did Select Leaders teach you, that better prepared you for your current role?” 


Kelly Mayor responded, saying the amount of practice she received by talking to executives through executive engagements was very rewarding because she now feels comfortable approaching anyone at any level.

MichaelMichael Buckles also took part in answering the question. “The speak as well as you think exercises were very beneficial,” he said. He went on to say that the exercises taught him how to have a speaking presence and to clearly communicate his thoughts concisely when presenting. 

The current president of the Select Leaders Development Program, Kyle Weese, is thrilled that the current curriculum of the SLDP program is being practiced by alumni in their current roles. 

“It is so assuring to hear alumni talk about their experience within the organization and how they still use tools from it daily,” he said. “It makes us feel like we are developing the next generation of leaders to be equipped post-graduation.”

After the panel of questions, some of the alumni gave the current SLDP members their biggest tip of advice.  

Natalie“Find ways to add value right away,” said Natalie Clark, who said that she identifies three ways to add value. The first way is to just be there physically, which Clark says shows dependability.  The second is to always take notes, which shows your mentally focused. “The last way to add value is to have a positive attitude, even when things aren’t going well,” Clark said. 

VictorVictor Colella also gave his biggest tip of advice: “Never eat lunch alone,” he said. “Network openly, get to know people and be genuine with them. You never know who you might meet and the relationships you will form by doing that.”

Current second year SLDP member, Audrey Bull, said that listening to advice from people who have been in her position before was relieving to hear. 

“My biggest takeaway was learning to accept change with open arms,” Bull said. “A lot of times I think we focus too much on starting with the end in mind, so it is nice to hear the advice of being open to different avenues in life.” 

The Walter Center is proud to support this amazing organization. The SLDP alumni give so much advice and wisdom to current students and are always welcomed back with open arms. Stay tuned for more Walter Center events coming up!