Want to List Leadership on Your Resume? FUEL Will Show You How


Published: March 4, 2010

Leadership skills are one of those elusive requirements mentioned under every job listing. We all want to be one, most of us think are in some capacity, we can definitely all identify other people who are. But what exactly is leadership? And better yet, how do we become a leader?

Some say that one is born a natural leader and others say that it can be created. Fordham University Emerging Leaders (FUEL) is a program that believes in the latter, helping students become equipped to be leaders in the university setting and for future careers. It congratulates students for getting to where they already are and pushes them to go further and keep making positive decisions by celebrating life and taking advantage of all opportunities that give them the chance to be leaders.

“The nine FUEL leaders, Dan Patterson and I spent time making sure that the students would not only feel applauded for their work as leaders so far in their personal lives but [that they] would take many skills and resources away from our program,” said Jaimie Boyd, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’12 and chair of FUEL.

The FUEL leaders have spent a lot of time planning sessions that inform students on numerous topics related to leadership.

The sessions started out with simpler topics such as “True Colors,” which helped students learn to work with others who may be completely different from them, and will conclude with “Okay, So You’re a Leader, Now What?” reminding students of the importance of empowering others as well as empowering themselves. The message being given is that members who graduate FUEL should, in a sense, “pay-it-forward” in order to get others involved, which will ultimately lead to something positive in their lives.

Richard Scott, FCLC ’11, who has participated in the FUEL program since freshman year and has been on the committee for the past two years, hopes that new members gain important skills such as “humility and the ability to see the best in other people, effective communication habits, passion, loyalty and a service mentality. What the FUEL program does is give students a ‘key’ to open up this toolbox already inside of them.”

When it comes to attending the sessions, students might be hesitant, feeling they don’t possess adequate leadership skills to attend and contribute. Yet the committee insists students of all levels are welcome and can benefit.

“Leaders come in all different forms so there are definitely no prerequisites. People face obstacles, big and small, all the time. So in all reality, every day is a new opportunity for someone to step up, gather their best assets and be a leader,” said FUEL committee member Alexa Frank, FCLC ’12.

Contrary to the belief of some, the committee subscribes to the notion that leaders are made, not born.

“Leadership is a set of traits that can be learned and practiced in everyday situations. Anyone has the potential to be a leader and it definitely helps having someone there to encourage him or her,” Scott said.

FUEL is not just a program that teaches students how to be leaders and gives them the encouragement they need in order to thrive. It also lets students who are trying to grow as people connect with others who are in the same position.

“I love that FUEL was able to connect me with students very different from myself, and it gave me an appreciation for Fordham in that it is truly a melting pot, not only of different races and ethnicities, but also of different personalities, memories and stories of the like that I could never relate to my own,” Boyd said.

“I also learned how to interview well and how to effectively work in groups. These skills are certainly practical and they helped me to succeed in both a job two years ago and in my dream internship last summer,” Scott said.

The program also aims to aid students in their day-to-day lives, as it helps direct interactions and involvement in many areas on campus.

“[The leadership program] encourages students to wake up everyday feeling good about themselves and make the correct choices in order to push forward their life goals,” Boyd said. “If you ask me, everyone could use a little FUEL.”