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Leadership Institute

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Step up and join the next generation of leaders

Each year, 12 juniors and seniors in the College of Natural Resources and Environment apply for and are selected to take on the challenge of the CNRE Leadership Institute. Students who participate in the Leadership Institute work hard — in the classroom, on team projects, and on their own self-awareness.

Once accepted, they embark on a yearlong journey of leadership development and practice that includes taking a three-credit course in both the fall and spring semesters, taking part in an off-campus retreat, and managing a capstone team project. In between semesters, the students and their instructors take a weeklong trip to Richmond and Washington, D.C., during which they meet with with leaders and policymakers from government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industries.

What you’ll learn in the Leadership Institute

  • You'll learn about yourself, like how your personality type affects your interactions with others and how you process information and make decisions.
  • You'll learn how to develop and apply leadership skills by leveraging knowledge about your personality type in working with others, as well as by gaining insight on how effective leaders deal with change, teamwork, and conflict.
  • You'll be prepared to advance your career and make a positive impact on the environment by understanding the paths to leadership positions.
Students from the Leadership Institute visit the Virginia Department of Forestry Headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

How to apply and start your leadership journey

An info session about the Leadership Institute will take place on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, from 7 to 8 p.m. Click here to register for the session (you will receive Zoom information upon registration). Current participants and the instructor will be present to answer questions, talk more about what happens in the program, and explain the application process. Application materials are due March 26, 2021. If you have specific questions, you can contact the program director, Brian Bond.

To apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a rising junior or senior in any major within the College of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average at Virginia Tech of 3.0 or higher.
  • Have the desire to lead and make a difference in the conservation of natural resources and the environment.
  • Submit an unofficial copy of your transcript, the names and contact info for three references, and a letter to Brian Bond, program director, in which you answer the following questions: (1) What does leadership mean to you? (2) Why do you want to join the institute, and what will you get out of the experience? (3) How will this experience benefit your career? (4) If accepted, what experience, knowledge, abilities, and/or unique qualities would you bring to the group?