TLISI 2019: Sleep When You're Dead: Achievement-Orientation in Student Leadership Practice
The most recent Georgetown University Intellectual Life Report states that “the pressures to participate in club culture, internships, and other dimensions of social life at Georgetown create a frenetic environment where students find their time split between the intellectual activities of their courses and social and pre-professional lives they wish to pursue.” (Intellectual Life Report, 2018, p. 38). For many reasons, students employ an achievement-oriented approach to their Georgetown pursuits, both academic and extra-curricular. This approach manifests itself in hyper-awareness of the regard of others, a sense of competition for roles and experiences, and increased focus on social capital. Current events and social media further complicate the perception of achievement in a high-prestige university environment. Achievement-orientation may impact the development of process-based, relational leadership skills. This presentation provides context and considerations for the ways that achievement-orientation impacts Georgetown students’ leadership identity development by presenting findings from a qualitative research study. The presentation will include implications for achievement-orientation in other aspects of Georgetown students’ learning and development, and provide opportunity for conversation about interventions and strategies to mitigate the practical and at times, negative effects of this approach.
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