Neali Healms, ’21, learned how to become a strong leader at Meredith through serving in roles such as Cornhuskin’ co-chair. She plans to use the skills she gained from campus leadership in her future career in public relations.
“While in college, I have learned that it is just as important to do things for yourself as it is to do for others. I have always had a problem saying “no,” however, sometimes it is necessary. I have learned when I can take on an extra responsibility or commitment, and when I cannot.
While I love to help others and be someone that others can depend on (after all, one of my top strengths is responsibility) I now know that I have to help myself in order to help others.
One leadership role I’ve held that has helped build my strengths was being a Cornhuskin’ co-chair. My co-chair and I have held this position since our sophomore year. This role is no joke — the practices and events for Cornhuskin’ occur over a time span of two months, and that does not include the prep work that comes before the practices begin. Being a Cornhuskin’ co-chair challenged me creatively and organizationally. It involves a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and skill regarding time management, planning, multitasking, and more.
Serving as Cornhuskin’ co-chair led to many late nights and early mornings, Cookout runs, and paint-stained clothing, but it has also led to a passion for event management and interpersonal communication. Becoming a co-chair has allowed me to become closer with my classmates.
Another experience I’ve enjoyed has been my internship with Meredith Mentors at the Alumnae House. I have established great relationships with the staff of the Alumnae Relations department: Hilary Allen ’01, Taylor Twine ’13, and Denise Parker ’83. Though we have all attended Meredith at different times, we are able to connect over so many similar experiences. They are always excited to hear what is going on with Cornhuskin’ or Stunt, or talk about how I’m doing in my classes.
It is through relationships like this with not only staff but alumnae that inspire me to return for reunion weekend and give back to Meredith College once I graduate. I hope to foster more student-alumna relationships when I graduate myself.
One challenge I’ve overcome throughout my time at Meredith is learning to be independent. I am originally from Ohio, and Meredith College is 498 miles away from home. At times, it was very difficult being away from home; it involved a lot of missed birthdays and family traditions.
However, it gave me an appreciation for when I was able to be home. I value the time I do get to spend with my friends and family, and with the help of FaceTime, I overcame this challenge.
After graduation, I plan to take a few months to myself and spend a little time with my family while searching for a job. My goal is to find a job in public relations, or perhaps as a journalist or a crisis communication specialist, and relocate to somewhere warm like Florida or California.”