Linzy Martinez, the newest Assistant Director in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, began at Worcester State in June following her graduation from Central Connecticut State University. A native of New Haven, CT, Linzy spent both her undergraduate and graduate careers at CCSU, where she studied sociology and history before graduating with an M.S. in Counselor Education for Higher Education and Student Development.
As a student at Central, Linzy spent time working as a Student Center Building Manager, AV Tech, Orientation Leader, and Yale Housing intern. Her experience has carried over into her professional work at Worcester State, where she oversees student employees at both the Student Center Information Desk and Living Room, advises the Commuter Activities Board, and supports Commuter Services.
Before classes began for the fall, Linzy took some time to discuss her thoughts on leadership.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned when it comes to leadership?
“My biggest lesson in leadership was learning how to take what I learned about my role and leadership and trust my judgement. As a student leader I went through a time where I had the tools I needed to lead and succeed but I questioned every choice I made. A mentor of mine really motivated me to trust my judgment and use what I learned with confidence, and that helped me become a more successful leader.
My leadership style is crafted partly with who I am and partly with the values, personalities, and goals of the people I am leading. I find that with a combination of styles, I craft unique methods that work for myself, the group, and the common goal we are looking to achieve. “
Can you share how your identity has shaped your leadership style throughout the years?
“My identity as a Latina has contributed to how I value relationship building and hard work. I believe my background and family have instilled [in me] a warm and caring personality that allows me to be successful in connecting with [the] students and people I work with and find a lot of joy in working with a team. I also believe the community I grew up with really valued hard work and being grateful for every opportunity presented. Even if an opportunity doesn’t work out or it’s not something you necessarily enjoy, if there is a pay off or a chance for growth you should still work hard and use your strengths to remain open to new opportunity. I have learned in more recent years that taking the extra step to advocate for yourself, your needs, and what you believe in in a society that isn’t always equal can go a long way.”
What advice would you give to students who are just beginning to explore the type of leader, or the type of person, they hope to become?
“Learn your strengths and embrace them. Everyone has them so learn about what makes you a strong leader and be proud of it. Too many times I’ve seen great student leaders sell themselves short.
Apply a growth mindset to everything you do. Be conscious of how you have grown and what new opportunities you can take on to see professional or personal growth in yourself.
Embrace the identities that are most salient to you and don’t be afraid to apply them to who you are as a leader. Advocate for yourself and your needs! Use your support and always speak up when you feel it matters to do so.”
What are you most looking forward to in your first year at WSU?
“Getting to know the students and the Worcester State community!”
Make sure to stop by the second floor of the Student Center to welcome Linzy to Worcester State!