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Leadership Hacks


  • Contact your class dean: Unique to Swarthmore are the close-knit relationships students develop with their deans. Class deans are here to help you succeed as a thinker, innovator, and student on and off Swarthmore’s campus. They understand that every student is an individual with unique needs and goals. Deans are like your personal cheerleader -- they cheer you on from the first day of orientation to the last day of senior finals.
  • Speak up in class: Nervous about speaking up in class? Anxious about the value of your comments and questions? You’re not alone. Swarthmore’s Writing Center has fully trained Speaking Associates (SPAs) who can help you become a more confident and natural public speaker. Whether you are planning a formal speech or participating in socratic discussions, SPAs are here for you.
  • Apply for CIL funding : Interested in attending a conference regarding innovation and/or leadership, but don’t have the funds to attend? Apply for conference funding the Center! We have financial resources for students dedicated to developing their innovation and leadership skills. We know that Swarthmore students will become the leaders of tomorrow -- thus, we want to help them hone in their passions and skills in any way possible. Feel free to schedule a meeting with Katie Clark to discuss whether the conference you have in mind qualifies for CIL funding.
  • Maintain self care : Whether it means attending a religious/spiritual gathering, going for a walk in the Crum woods, or scheduling a meeting with CAPS, never forget the importance of practicing self care. We are here to make sure you know how to access Swarthmore’s plethora of resources. Before all else, we encourage students to take care of their minds, bodies, and souls.
  • Attend events and lectures : Swarthmore is an academically dynamic campuses. In any given week, you are sure to be surrounded by posters and advertisements for new movie screenings, interesting guest lectures, and development workshops. Take advantage of these amazing opportunities! Attend (free, as always) weekly workshops on creating student organizations, meet with Swarthmore Alumni CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and attend lectures hosted by various departments and special speakers.
  • How to ask for letters of recommendation: At some point during or after your years at Swarthmore, you will need to ask professors for recommendation letters. The Center is here to make sure you know how and when it is appropriate to do so. Building repertoire with your professors, engaging in intellectual conversations, and respecting your professor’s time and effort are all facets of a successful recommendation process.