Maria Rojas

Building Confident Leaders

University leaders learn more about themselves and one another through the popular Essentials of Leadership program

Maria Rojas, a senior manager in the University of Miami (UM) College of Engineering (CoE) Office of Sponsored Programs, recently graduated from the UM Essentials of Leadership (EOL) program, which provides University managers with the opportunities, resources, tools and support to ensure a successful developmental journey. EOL is a customized leadership program aligned with the UM Common Purpose and Values, and leadership traits and behaviors.

Before starting the program, Rojas met with her supervisor, Helena Solo-Gabriele, CoE associate dean for research and professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, to set professional goals and identify areas of growth. These initial conversations helped prepare Rojas to complete the program. The training kicked off with a panel discussion on “The Business of the U,” was followed by several day-long sessions in smaller cohorts and then by four modules spaced out over five months.

“At the College of Engineering and as an associate dean, we support continued self- and professional development. I encouraged Maria to participate in EOL to further her development as a manager,” explained Solo-Gabriele. “These skills are not acquired in one workshop or one course, but are strengthened and used throughout your time at UM.”

Since its inception in 2014, more than 500 University leaders have graduated from EOL. The program, which is hosted by the Office of Talent and Organizational Development (TOD) and is open to employees who have at least one direct report, invites participants to explore their individual leadership style, understand learning styles, gain confidence in handling difficult conversations at work and expand their professional network with colleagues across the University.

“Throughout the program, I was able to develop relationships, interact and learn from other participants in my cohort,” Rojas said. “Through this program, I was able to practice, discuss and grow through these collaborative experiences and take what I learned and put it into action.”

Participants walk away from EOL having learned much about themselves, and many choose to take other trainings offered by the office. To learn more, visit Essentials of Leadership program.

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