Three outstanding LCS students, Luke Newbigging ’24, Nathan Smith ’24, and Matz Rubabaza ’24, were chosen to participate in the prestigious Queen’s Leadership Excellence and Development Conference (QLEDC) held from November 16 to 19, 2023.
These three students emerged among a selective cohort of 150 delegates representing Canada's top young leaders, converging at Queen’s University to explore, learn, and refine their leadership skills.
Throughout the immersive four-day event, Luke, Nathan, and Matz engaged in a series of workshops, discussions, and hands-on activities, gaining invaluable insights into effective leadership, the business landscape, and the transition to university life.
Luke ’24’s Experience
What were the key takeaways or most valuable lessons you learned from the Queen’s Leadership Excellence and Development Conference?
“This conference equipped me with a brand-new toolbox for making and maintaining connections. Through consulting workshops at top firms and networking opportunities with Smith School of Business students, I expanded my network and met people in fields that I am interested in being a part of.”
How did the conference enhance or influence your understanding of leadership?
“QLead built on my understanding of leadership from all angles, whether I am in front of a group of people speaking, or in a crowd participating, I can be a leader who does have an impact on the others around me.”
Could you share a specific moment or activity from the conference that left a lasting impression on you?
“I had many new experiences at QLead, but one that stood out to me in particular was the QLead Case Competition. This was a 5-hour intensive competition where I worked with people I had never met to derive a solution to a complex business case. Through our research in the FinTech field, our team developed an App that solved many root problems in the case; this made it a very popular idea with the judges. This intensive gave me the chance to grow my collaboration and decision-making skills.”
Nathan ’24’s Experience
In what ways do you think this experience will impact your approach to leadership within the school community or your future career aspirations?
“Participating in the QLead workshops was a transformative experience, providing me with valuable insights into communication, teamwork, ideation, and self-awareness—all crucial facets contributing to my personal leadership development. The hands-on leadership experiences during QLead have equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary to embark on a career in business leadership. I am now back at LCS with a renewed sense of purpose, ready to elevate my leadership role as a Grad. Notably, I have returned with a few new innovative event ideas for both my house and the wider community. I have also been reflecting on my commitment to applying principles I’ve learned during QLead to positively impact the school community. This experience has undoubtedly shaped my approach to leadership, instilling in me a deeper understanding of the dynamics involved and fueling my aspirations for a future career in which I can effectively lead and inspire others.”
What inspired you the most during the conference, and how do you plan to implement or apply this inspiration in your life moving forward?
“One of the most inspiring speakers at the conference was Mike Pierce, who shared his insights on communication, making a difference, integrity, caring about others, performing well in jobs, and taking time out of your day to do what’s important and spend time with those who are important. I was also inspired by all the executives who organized the conference, which was an amazing feat of teamwork and leadership by Queen’s Smith School of Business students (they worked on it for nine months!). They truly demonstrated how much hard work and dedication can pay off, and how rewarding it is to create something meaningful and impactful for others. They all inspired me to put more into the world than I take out, to lead by example, and to give back to the people who gave me the opportunities to achieve. I can apply this inspiration both at LCS, by contributing to the community that has allowed me to grow and prosper, and in my general life, by expressing gratitude for my family, friends, and everyone else who has given me a chance.”
Some highlights from the conference include:
Queen’s Campus Tour
Their participation in QLEDC not only broadened their perspectives but also equipped them with invaluable skills and knowledge, laying the foundation for their future endeavours. Further, this experience promises to enrich their personal and academic growth, setting them on a trajectory of impactful leadership and success as they continue to embody the values of resilience, collaboration, and innovation that define the LCS spirit.