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ILA Reflections from an Undergraduate Student

Written by Courtney Windju

From an undergraduate’s perspective, attending the International Leadership Association’s (ILA) annual conference in Barcelona, Spain this October was an incredibly reflective experience that allowed more insight into the professional leadership world. Myself, Courtney Windju, and three other undergraduate students - Taylor Gonzalez, Jordan Jackson and Jordan Vaughn - participated in the 9th annual undergraduate case study competition. Our team explored the ethical leadership dynamics (or lack thereof...) of FIFA, one of the largest global organization’s that exists in our international community. The competition in itself was three-fold; we first sent in an authentic analysis identifying our key concerns of FIFA’s leadership dynamics, before arriving in Barcelona. Next, we presented our research in a poster presentation on the first day of the ILA conference. In both of these areas, our team took 1st place, which was very exciting. From there, we advanced to the final three teams where we again had to present our findings, in addition to integrating new material learned from attending the conference sessions. We ended taking 2nd place overall, which was an honor, especially at an international conference. The new knowledge and plethora of leadership theories we learned throughout this experience would not have been gained otherwise. We received compliments from several scholars at ILA who found our research to be relatable to graduate-level work. This certainly must be accredited to the rigor of the USD leadership curriculum and the dedication of faculty, for which we as undergraduate students are endlessly thankful.

If you would like to view our poster, our coach Tara Edberg has put it on display in SOLES. 

Other articles about SOLES at ILA 2015

Outstanding Leadership Book Award Presented to Ira Chaleff

An ILA Student Experience

ILA Reflections from a Leadership Studies Masters Student