A group of about 20 students became teachers during the North Georgia Leadership Engagement and Development Workshop.
The undergraduates in professor Mark Jordan’s business leadership theories class at North Georgia College & State University led a workshop recently in Cumming designed to offer insight to more than 30 regional nonprofit organizations.
Students like Cole Thompson became a partner in a consulting group, which began the project by sending “out a survey to find out what areas businesses may need help with.”
“Every summer a new class takes over,” he said. “It’s been getting more popular every year we’ve been doing it.”
Thompson said the survey results indicated nonprofit leaders were most interested in help with organizational change, motivation and emotional intelligence.
Psychology major Brittany Kall and three fellow students presented the nonprofits with information on emotional intelligence.
“We wanted to help them know how to deal with the emotions that are present in the workplace,” she said. “It actually helped me become more comfortable with the subject, more comfortable with dealing with people I don’t really know.”
Jordan, in his third year leading the workshop, said his students continue to face challenges, but are becoming more comfortable with the environment.
Nonprofits from Forsyth, Dawson, Gwinnett, Hall and Lumpkin counties participated in the class, which was held at the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce events facility.
Among participants was Gainesville community volunteer Deborah Mack.
“I have been involved in the nonprofit world for over 30 years and I’m just interested in just trying to find things that will help,” she said.
Mack was particularly interested in the emotional intelligence portion, saying reading and relating to emotions of others can help accomplish goals in the nonprofit sector.
“I love to get ideas from young people,” Mack said. “I think that sparks an interest and helps us to know that we can’t stay in our regular mode. We’ve got to step out and try other things to get things done.”
Jeni Thomas, who led the portion on organizational change, described the relationship as “experience meets academics.”
“They’re teaching us while we’re teaching them, so it’s a great opportunity for all of us to be in this workshop,” she said.