Real Leadership: Leadership Society Opens Doors for MTC Students
Aug 14, 2018
One day, MTC student Abigail Eiler received an email from one of her instructors that would change her life. In the email, her instructor explained that because Eiler had a high grade-point average, she should look into joining MTC's chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). The NSLS is the nation's largest leadership honor society. With 598 chapters, the society currently has nearly 900,000 members nationwide.
“She encouraged me to get active on campus to make my resume stand out,” Eiler explained. “I decided to take her advice and join the NSLS. So yes, I joined NSLS with the goal of a resume boost. I am so glad that it became so much more than that.”
Before enrolling at MTC, Eiler was working in a call center for a large local company. But during that time she had decided she wanted something better for herself and her family.
“I wanted a career instead of just a job,” she said. “I have three little boys, so having the opportunity for career advancement and potential income growth were important motivational factors for me to begin my academic career at MTC.”
“Originally, I was only attending MTC for an associate degree in business management,” recalled Eiler. “A couple of semesters in, I decided to begin pursuing an associate degree in marketing as well. Well, I discovered that I enjoy marketing even more than management!”
Eiler graduated on a Thursday. The following Monday, she started her career as a management and marketing coordinator for a fast-growing, South Carolina-based company. She said her experience with the NSLS really paid off.
“Without the National Society of Leadership and Success, I might not have discovered my leadership potential,” she said. “I chose to take advantage of the tools and opportunities that the NSLS provided me because I wanted to be prepared for my career.
“The education I received from MTC opened the doors and made new career opportunities possible,” she said. “Every late night of studying, every project turned in, thousands of notecards later; all of the hard work paid off.”
Chapter Advisor Kaci Wilhite Greene said Eiler’s career success is not unusual for an NSLS member. She said the NSLS chapter at MTC brings students together from every program of study at MTC, giving them the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, leadership, and how to achieve their goals from national experts.
“When we started our chapter, we initially thought we would get about 60 students to join,” Greene said. “We exceeded our expectations when more than 300 students joined during the first semester.”
NSLS candidacy is a nationally recognized achievement of honorable distinction. Students are selected for membership based on either academic standing or leadership potential. To be inducted into the NSLS, each student must first complete orientation, a Leadership Training Day, three Success Networking Team meetings, and three Speaker Broadcast events.
Greene said her favorite part of the society is the Success Networking Teams, where NSLS candidates are arranged into small teams that meet regularly to discuss their goals and to receive feedback from other members. At the end of each meeting, candidates submit reflective journal entries to their advisors who monitor members’ progress and help arrange college resources that can help the member toward the achievement of their goals.
“These teams create a small network of students with diverse experiences that members can share ideas with,” Greene said. “It helps them get to know other members who can support them with their educational as well as professional aspirations.”
For Eiler, who volunteered to lead her Success Networking Team’s meetings, the time spent in small groups was transformative.
“Every Success Networking Team meeting and Speaker Broadcast allowed me to become more comfortable in my leadership skills and more excited about helping others succeed in reaching their goals,” she said. “The experience I have gained as a member of the NSLS has allowed me to gain skills that a textbook couldn’t teach me. I am much more confident and willing to take new opportunities than I ever was before joining the society.”
After she was inducted into the NSLS, Eiler continued facilitating Success Networking Team meetings to help new candidates meet their induction requirements. She also went on to complete additional requirements with the chapter to receive the National Engaged Leadership Award and the Society State of Mind Award in the spring of 2018.
“I encourage anyone who is considering joining the NSLS to do so,” said Eiler, “but only if you want to grow as a person and a leader. The NSLS has amazing chapter leaders here at MTC; the encouragement and enthusiasm of my chapter leaders were truly inspiring.”