The weekend’s snow did little to dampen the enthusiasm – or attendance – at the 16th Careers, Life, and Yale Leadership Workshop, which drew almost 70 students to hear talks from esteemed alumni Lovely Dhillon '90 JD, Kim Goff-Crews ’83, ’86 JD, Andrew Klaber '04, and Caroline Tanbee Smith ’14.

Over the last six years, these workshops have attracted more than 700 students and more than 100 alumni, including Marshall Scholars, Yale Medal winners, entrepreneurs, Yale-Jefferson Award winners for public service, and many more.

“These leadership workshops are among my favorite events,” said organizer Steve Blum ’74, senior director of strategic initiatives for the Yale Alumni Association, which sponsors the events alongside Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY). “They bring together people from all different realms of Yale, and they generate alumni wisdom for students eager to learn and chart their own paths.”

Over the course of two days March 2-3, those in attendance talked with visiting alumni and took part in active, collaborative breakout sessions meant to expand their thinking about what it takes – and what it means – to be a leader in the 21st century.

Dhillon, a social impact strategist, was Friday’s keynote discussion leader, with Tanbee Smith of New Haven’s Collab, Klaber of Paulson and Co., and Goff-Crews, Yale’s vice president for student life, each leading discussions on Saturday.

Collectively, they encouraged Yalies in attendance to take chances, not fear failure, and to truly dedicate themselves to their dreams – while always remembering that compassion is a key component of leadership. In addition, they encouraged students to seek others for assistance, including mentors to help them along their journey.

“What I loved about being here at Yale was thinking about all the wisdom,” said Dhillon. “The wisdom you can get from one another. ... Yale is a unique place that allows you to truly connect with your full self.”

Yale Alumni Association campus partners who sent representatives to the workshops included STAY, the Yale College Council, Yale Law School, Yale Divinity School, Residential College Graduate Affiliates, the Office of Career Strategy, the Yale Postdoctoral Association, and the Eli Whitney Students Program.

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