Two dozen Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota undergraduate college students had the opportunity to learn about ethical leadership first-hand from editor-in-chief of The Economist Zanny Minton Beddoes.

The students met the international, award-winning journalist and economist on Tuesday, April 25 as part of the 2017 Hendrickson Forum on the Saint Mary’s Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis. Following a lunchtime global-economy address to more than 270 people that included area business leaders and community members, the Winona Campus students spent an hour with Minton Beddoes before she flew back to London.

Majoring in various subjects including business, the students shared a common interest in leadership. During their time together, Minton Beddoes imparted the college students with the following advice to be a “better leader”:

  • Listen, really listen.
  • Seek ideas from everyone, young and old alike. For example, she relied on the younger people in her life to bring The Economist into the Snapchat arena.
  • Give credit generously to others and take responsibility when things go wrong.
  • You may regret what you’ve not done, so “do!” For instance, she said, study abroad, create a start-up, etc.
  • Make mistakes; fail fast; learn from it; don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Clare Tack, a junior Marketing and Graphic Design double major from Saint Charles, Ill., said she greatly appreciated Minton Beddoes’ leadership tips and was impressed by her keynote address, “What’s Next? Making Sense of a Global Economy.”

Zanny Minton Beddoes speaks at the Hendrickson Forum 2017

“She discussed how our generation is going through more technological advances than one could imagine and that our education system has to adapt,” Tack said. “I learned that rather than going to school and being done, we need to have ‘continual curiosity‘—to never get comfortable with what you know and always look for ways to learn what you do not know,” said the leadership club member who is also secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and a member of the volleyball team. Tack hopes to one day work in sports marketing for a major league baseball team.

As a Global Studies and Spanish double major with a Business minor, Frydha Cordova-Fragozo was impressed by Minton Beddoes’ ideas regarding the global economy and analysis of countries involved in the world’s economy. “I was amazed at how knowledgeable, attentive, and quick-thinking she was as a speaker,” said the sophomore from Tucson, Ariz.

A two-time attendee of the Hendrickson Forum and its following student-leadership program with the keynote speaker, Cordova-Fragozo said, “This forum is truly empowering! The two Hendrickson Forums have nourished the seed of interest and passion I have toward politics and global issues,” added Cordova-Fragozo who plans to attend law school and has “elaborate” career goals that include an internship in the heart of politics, Washington, D.C.; an attorney for immigration, business, and animal rights; a Supreme Court Justice; a U.S. Ambassador; and a teacher during retirement.

Senior Biology major Joseph Malinao said, “The opportunity to network with business professionals at the luncheon and interact with a worldwide, well-respected professional, such as Minton Beddoes, was overall a humbling, empowering, and insightful experience, particularly from engaging in topics of ethical leadership, global economy, and lifelong learning.”

“To me, the most thought-provoking topic she mentioned was lifelong learning. I can attribute the development of my intellectual curiosity to the Saint Mary’s faculty from taking courses across multiple disciplines and from our conversations. With graduation around the corner, I can see myself being an advocate for lifelong learning and continuing my own learning experience, especially as I embark on a new chapter starting my career in a role outside of my major as a healthcare strategy and operations analyst.

As Malinao said, in addition to learning from and meeting Minton Beddoes, he and the other Winona-based students had the opportunity to hone their networking skills.

“To walk into a room of highly successful people and be expected to introduce yourself and start conversations is a real-life exercise that, once they get through the initial nerves, they are very glad they were able to experience it,” said Jamison Rusthoven, undergraduate leadership program coordinator at Saint Mary’s.

On the 100-mile bus ride to the forum, the students practiced their networking skills with each other through role-playing. The early-morning practice paid off as the students were lauded by the well-traveled, award-winning journalist and others for their professionalism, poise, and astute questions.

“Overall, I would highly recommend and encourage students to attend this event in the future. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear an influential leader like Zanny Minton Beddoes talk about ethical leadership and global economics,” said Malinao who hails from Savage, Minn., and is Student Senate President, previous junior class officer, new student orientation leader, SOUL Trip Council Leader, Founder and President of the Pre-med Professions Club, and past Red Cross Blood Drive coordinator at Saint Mary’s.

To learn more about the 10-year-old Hendrickson Forum or the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership established in 1994 at Saint Mary’s, watch this video, which is directly available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-7v3a-Oojo.

A selection of photographs from the Hendrickson Forum 10th anniversary event are at smumn.edu/photos.

Zanny Minton Beddoes (center back) poses with the Winona Campus undergraduate college contingent

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