As a biomedical engineering student, Jake Caldwell is a born
problem-solver. Through his training at UB, he has developed an
unexpected skill that is sure to be a valuable asset in his career
and life: leadership.
As a freshman, Jake took part in Leadership House, where he
lived on the third floor of Dewey Hall with other students
interested in leadership and service. The yearlong commitment also
included a leadership class each semester. The experience opened
Jake’s eyes to what it means to be a leader. “The first
and foremost thing I learned is that there are so many different
kinds of leadership, so many ways to go about it. We’re all
set in our own narcissistic ways. Leadership House broadened my
views, and helped me recognize my leadership skills—and the
skills of others.”
The training Jake gained through Leadership House has opened the
doors to leadership opportunities all across campus. He was a
student assistant for engineering department’s freshman
seminar, became a resident assistance in the Honors College at
Governor’s, and was elected Vice President of the Mock Trial
Club. As with many participants in Leadership House, he has
returned as a mentor to support the development of future student
Jake believes in the power of leadership at UB—and beyond. “The leadership programs are creating the foundation for other efforts on campus. We can all only go so far ourselves individually. But when you can unite a larger force, a common cause, directed energy, under a single person, the products as we’ve seen through history are just immense and incredible. Having that leader, that person who’s willing to spark true change, is the catalyst our society thrives on."
As he prepares for his career in engineering, Jake expects his
leadership training and communication skills to pay substantial
dividends. “Engineers often get a bad rap for sitting in
their cubicle all day, not doing much.” But an engineer with
leadership skills can stand out among his or her peers.
“Every project has a team leader that guides skills and
abilities of those around him to achieve the overall goals,”
noted Jake, who believes that his heightened sense of leadership
will allow him to better interact with coworkers, and approach
problems with a better view of the big picture.