SAISLeads: Prepare to Lead
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SAISLeads: Prepare to Lead

The school educates tomorrow's leaders to excel in the field of international relations through its rigorous academic training in international economics and functional and regional studies. Additionally, it provides students with an array of opportunities to develop the skills necessary to become dynamic leaders of organizations, corporations or governments that impact the world.  

SAISLeads is a platform that provides students with opportunities for leadership development throughout their tenure at the school. The centerpiece of SAISLeads is a leadership retreat for rising second year MA students held in August just before the beginning of the Fall semester.  This extremely interactive event is designed to explore individual leadership styles and potential and in doing so, better equips students to pursue career paths that are suitable to their personal and professional goals. Not only will participating students apply this knowledge to leadership roles at the school, they will continue this learning process and use these skills during their employment search and throughout their careers.


Discovering Your Leadership Style, Potential and Impact

Monday, August 29 through Tuesday, August 30, 2016


The SAISLeads Retreat is a free event for Johns Hopkins SAIS students returning to the DC campus in the fall. It aims to provide students with a unique professional development experience that will introduce leadership skills and impart knowledge to prepare them to be effective leaders throughout their careers and within their daily lives. This two-day retreat will focus on leadership development through self-awareness, group dynamics and team building. The program will use experiential leadership techniques that will help the participants learn by doing. Participating students can expect to reflect on their own experiences, engage with fellow students and establish goals for future leadership development. 

The retreat is tailored to the needs of the students and complements the school's academic curriculum. An outside trainer, educated in leadership theory and skills, will run the program along with additional professional and student facilitators.


Self-Awareness Assessment:
Evaluating individual strengths, values, weaknesses, progress and future learning objectives; developing critical self-awareness; gaining a greater degree of control over how we are operating in the present, instead of reacting to something conditioned by our past; knowing ones inner resources, strengths, abilities and limits.

Group Dynamics/Team Building:
Understanding of the behavior of people in groups. This can be the interactions that influence the attitudes and behavior of people when they are grouped with others through either choice or accidental circumstances. It encompasses interpersonal relationships, norms, roles, development, awareness, need to belong, social influence and effects on behavior.

Students will be required to attend the full program. The retreat runs approximately 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day. Full meals (breakfast and lunch) are also included in the program at no cost to participants.


Current first-year students are invited to apply to this program by clicking the "APPLY NOW!" link above and completing the application process. Applications are due no later than Sunday, May 15, 2016. Decisions will be made by Monday, May 23, 2016.

Although the event is free, accepted students must pay a $100 deposit that is refunded after completion of the entire retreat program.  Students may use the Charge Slip to pay their deposit via credit card or provide a check.

“SAISLeads was the perfect way to start off my second year at Johns Hopkins SAIS. It was first of all an opportunity to interact with students from other concentrations and incoming students from Bologna whom I otherwise would not have met. SAISLeads also delivers in terms of leadership training. I learned about the nuances of leadership—how personality types come into play and what makes an effective team, to name a few examples. The retreat leaders were simply amazing. They cultivated an open atmosphere to explore leadership issues, and led a series of activities that really drove home the lessons. I highly recommend SAISLeads as a way to start thinking about your second year at the school and your time beyond it. I might add that the food was amazing!”

“As a facilitator I helped lead my group through the activities and facilitated our group discussions. It is not much extra time commitment but a lot of added value.  It was a great way to put into practice some of the leadership skills we were discussing. I really liked working with the leaders of the workshop and it was a great way to get to know other SAISers that I had not had the chance to meet yet.  A great way to come back to school and get excited about the upcoming year after a summer away.”

"Attending and facilitating SAISLeads was an invaluable experience during my time here at Johns Hopkins SAIS. The workshops and activities over the course of the two days taught me about myself, as well as how I could leverage my strengths and improve my weaknesses to become a better leader and communicator in both my personal and professional worlds. I greatly enjoyed meeting and working with new classmates over the course of the two days, and appreciated the enthusiasm that everyone (both attendees and facilitators alike) brought to the table."