Erik Nelson got a firsthand look at company leadership styles as he and other students from Suffolk’s Journey Leadership program traveled to New York in September to meet with teams at two vastly different companies--JetBlue and eLearning Mind.

“I gained firsthand experience about how culture is created and sustained at a startup company versus at a large organization,” said Nelson. “I also gained insight on how leadership styles reflect the environment at an organization and learned specific examples of leadership styles that are highly effective in motivating employees.”

The University’s Journey program is a four-year leadership experience built on the cornerstones of involvement, service, career exploration, and leadership. It addresses leadership education through activities that range from swimming with manatees in Florida to working on a social issue with students from a partner university. Twelve students took part in the New York Leadership Experience, which focused on the business setting and how effective leadership produces innovation.

"The New York trip allowed me to network with companies I never would have imagined having the chance to meet,” said Kaitlin Morrill.

Students met with a team from eLearning Mind, a corporate digital learning firm in which Management and Entrepreneurship Professor Chak Fu Lam is involved. The students saw the inner workings of the company and explored leadership aspects needed to run a successful business. They also engaged in networking.

During the second session Suffolk alumnus Ryan Berry, who was involved in Journey while at Suffolk, introduced his team at JetBlue headquarters. The students heard about personal employment experiences, the role of leadership within a large company, and JetBlue’s transformational leadership.

"The NYC leadership experience was a great networking opportunity and an incredible way to get an inside view on successful leaders in their workplaces, said Cary Dutra. “This experience taught me effective leadership skills and principles that I will use in the future."