Board of Trustees chair urges graduate business students to continuously learn

September 01, 2023

Chuck Sias smiling and talking to guest speaker 1

The School of Business helped set graduate students on a course for success with leadership lessons provided by “You Got This, Kid!” Leadership Foundation creator and author Chuck Saia '91, MBA '94.

A Deloitte senior partner, Saia is chairman of Quinnipiac's Board of Trustees. Over his 30-year career with Deloitte, Saia’s former leadership positions have included chief executive officer of Deloitte’s risk and financial advisory business, and chief risk and regulatory officer of the firm.

Kicking off the School of Business Graduate Student Symposium in Quinnipiac's Center for Computing and Engineering building on the Mount Carmel Campus, Saia led a workshop based on his book, “You Got This, Kid!: Words of Advice for Young Leaders.”

School of Business Dean Holly Raider said Saia’s true, heartfelt book and its tenets provide inspiring ways to think about the many dimensions of leadership. Published in 2021, all proceeds from Saia’s book are donated to the Saia Family Fund at Quinnipiac benefiting Lupus research and environmental sustainability efforts.

“The book itself, and how Chuck has been speaking on it and using it, is very exemplary of his values, particularly with regard to giving back and to caring about the environment and others,” said Raider.

Saia was interviewed for the workshop discussion by Olamide Gbotosho '21.  Currently an advisory associate in technology enablement at KPMG, Gbotosho interned with Saia as a business management major and assisted him with compiling his book. She is now a member of the “You Got This, Kid!” Leadership Foundation board.       

To explore different concepts of leadership, Saia challenged the graduate students to have the courage to journal and report on personal connections to the seven species described in his book. Saia’s seven creatures create analogies between the animal kingdom and the business world "jungle.”

The graduate students dug deep to journal incidents such as those which helped them to develop an armadillo’s thick skin and persevere; to recognize uplifting mentors or "eagles” in their lives; or to reflect on personal growth following toxic experiences with scorpion-like leaders. Ultimately, the journaling completed by each graduate student during the workshop developed their individual "leadership footprint,” said Saia.

“There’s no such thing as a born leader," said Saia. "It is not embedded in you. Leadership is a learned trait. You continuously have to learn."

Saia encouraged the graduate students to know their mission and purpose and align their lives with those guiding principles. He also urged them to keep self-exploring and to recognize and grow from the different "animal” encounters they will experience.  

Raider said Saia’s workshop at the School of Business Graduate Student Symposium not only marked the graduate students’ start in dedicating time to their studies, but also the start of their success as leaders.

"The message that you should take from this is that there is a team of dedicated professional, caring members of your Quinnipiac family who are here to help you be successful,” said Raider. "You are already leaders. You are a graduate student. And as that, you are a leader on campus. The undergraduate students are looking to you to be role models. They’re looking to you for advice and to learn how they can go forward as students, as campus citizens, and in their careers.”


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