From Shy Student to Charismatic Leader: Hephzibah Emereole Inspires at Student Leadership Conference
On October 15th-16th, over 200 students from across the globe gathered to attend the second annual OSUN Virtual Leadership Conference. A collaboration between the OSUN Civic Engagement Initiative and Student Life Initiatives Project at Bard College, the online event allowed students from OSUN member institutions to participate in workshops, hear keynote speakers, and meet like-minded individuals from many different time zones. One of the keynote speakers was Hephzibah Emereole, a recent graduate of OSUN member institution Ashesi University in Ghana, who kicked off Saturday’s conference by sharing her inspirational story.
Emereole began her talk with a statement that surprised most of the online audience: she used to be shy and suffered from low self-esteem. It’s hard to equate that version of Hephzibah Emereole with the person seated before the camera, who is charismatic and well-spoken. She credited her experience at Ashesi University as the catalyst that sparked her to adjust her mindset. By observing her peers perform in leadership roles, she was inspired to follow suit. Emereole explained how immersing herself in the Ashesi University community with volunteer activities helped her to gain the confidence and network ties that led to participation in larger scale international leadership opportunities.
Emereole went on to divulge how she did face setbacks during this time of personal growth, as the inevitable rejection cropped up while seeking out exciting new opportunities. She recalled this rejection as a surprise that hit her hard. However, setbacks also became pivotal learning moments for her, as they forced her to more closely navigate application processes, compelling her to tell her story “in a more beautiful and powerful way.”
As Emereole mentioned the number of impressive positions she has held (ranging from Managing Editor of the OSUN Global Commons Student Publication to a Google Africa Development Scholar and a WomenTech Network Global Ambassador), the comments section flooded with contributions from students picking up on her magnetism. The interest made it clear that her engaging story and honest words of advice would stay with the audience much longer than the forty-five minutes her talk allowed. Follow Hephzibah Emereole at [email protected].
Post Date: 10-25-2022