By: Sara Petty
Four students in instructor Carolyn Wagner's Student Media Leadership class were released at the Milwaukee County Zoo yesterday with an interesting task at hand. Paige Gruber, Natalie Hartwig, Yasmin Lara and Molly Polirer were instructed to choose an exhibit at the zoo where they would serve as the leader of the group. Without further guidance, the group set off with only a map and a few ideas in mind.
"The directions were a little vague, but I guess that's part of being a leader, doing things without much instruction," said Hartwig, "I underestimated how much you rely on your leaders."
At different sections, Wagner instructed the "actresses" to push the buttons of the leader in different ways. As the activity went on, the students started to see some redundancy in the actions of their pseudo staff members. Lara, who was the fourth acting leader, learned from the others to check on her staff frequently to keep them accountable.
"Someone will always be struggling," said Lara, "So I think just being there for people...and guiding them is what I want to focus on more."
Not only were the students able to experience situations that their respective staffs may put them in, they got to see what it is like to be led by another peer.
"It's cool to see what it's like in the other person's shoes and not being in the leadership role," said Polirer, "It might help me in the future to see it from their perspective instead of just jumping at whatever I thought of first."
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