Every year, the National Society of Leadership and Success offers paid internships to college students who want to start a society chapter at their respective campuses.
And every year, thousands of students from across the country apply. For 2013, that number hit the 3,000 mark.
“Of those 3,000,” Paige Billingsley, a senior marketing student at Pittsburg State University, said, “only 30 got it. Thirty out of 3,000. It’s a tough one to get.”
Billingsley knows full well just how tough it is. She applied and went through a rigorous process that involves “six or seven interviews.”
“It’s pretty intense,” she said.
But so is the thrill of being selected.
“I was one of the 30 chosen to start a local chapter, and I’m very excited to finally get the chance to create a PSU chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for me, but it’s also a great opportunity for Pitt State students to get involved with a successful and effective leadership program that will benefit them now and especially when they graduate.”
The National Society of Leadership and Success is a nationwide community of college leaders dedicated to “building leaders who make a better world.” With more than 200 college chapters, it is one of the largest honor organizations in the United States.
Being selected for the internship and creating the PSU chapter was the first challenge. The second, and perhaps most important, was getting PSU students to join. That turned out to be much easier than the former task.
“We’ve had a huge turnout,” Billingsley said. “We were expecting maybe 60, maybe 100 applications. We’ve had more than 360 applications. That’s very exciting.”
The applicants to the local chapter went through an interactive orientation and training session in early April inside the Crimson and Gold Ballroom.
“The orientation sessions are really just the first step in getting this chapter going,” Billingsley said. “We’ll also have speaker broadcasts, Success Networking Team (SNT) sessions, a leadership training day and then the formal induction ceremony.”
Aubry Keller, a junior biology student, serves as the chapter’s SNT coordinator. She said she’s excited about the possibilities for personal growth that the PSU chapter of NSLS will present.
“One of the best things about this is that we’re seeing students apply that we don’t usually see in these types of programs,” she said. “In the leadership groups across campus, we typically see mostly the same students. For this, though, we’re seeing a lot of new faces, which is exactly what we were hoping for. Maybe this will be a starting point for some of these students, and they’ll think about getting more involved in other groups because of this.”
Billingsley said that while leadership is the main focus of the group, she said being involved also teaches many other skills that the students will need to be successful after graduation.
“You learn so much when you’re part of something like this,” she said. “You learn collaboration, how to work with others, how to listen and learn from others. We’re all going to be working for or with someone when we graduate, and it’s important that we have those experiences in college.”
For more information about NSLS, visit http://www.societyleadership.org.