Kristina Galang always wanted a career helping others. Through Leadership House she learned unique skills to help her earn the career of her dreams.
Before arriving on campus, Kristina was one of 30 first-year students selected for Leadership House. Kristina was initially drawn to the program as a way to meet new friends, but the experience went far beyond her expectations. “Once I got into Leadership House, I saw that I had the potential to be a leader.”
I definitely see a difference in myself. I’ve gained confidence, and I’ve opened up more."
With a newfound social circle and the lessons learned through Leadership House, Kristina quickly thrived at UB. As her confidence blossomed, she opened herself up to new experiences, such as Relay for Life, the Polar Plunge and student clubs.
“There’s one activity at Leadership House where everyone stands in a circle – 40 of us or so – then five people go in the middle.” Everyone who isn’t in the middle has to turn around and close their eyes. “Then the instructors tell the people in the middle to reach out and touch somebody who made you smile, or inspires you, or is a mentor to you, or who you want to get closer to. People in the middle literally reach out and touch someone. I found that so uplifting.”
Even as an upperclassman, Kristina stays connected with her mentors at Leadership House. “If you’re passionate about something, they will help you,” noted Kristina, in talking about the variety of volunteering, networking and internship opportunities available.
Of all the lessons she’s learned, the most important may be self-awareness. Through various personality tests, she identified her strengths and weakness – insight that she believes will be a valuable asset during interviews and in her career. Now she knows that she is “an includer,” someone who always pulls others in, and makes sure that nobody is left alone.
Thanks to her newfound confidence and the leadership skills developed at UB, Kristina is ready to make an impact and fulfill her dream of working as an occupational therapist. “I want to work with kids,” she said. “They inspire me.”