Kimberly-Ann Lang, from Marlborough, MA, is a senior majoring in Nursing with a minor in Communications. Kim is currently the President of the Commuter Activities Board, in her second year as a Presidential Student Ambassador, and works in Thea’s Food Pantry and at UMASS as a Patient Care Assistant.
Kimberly-Ann Lang at CAB’s Trunk or Treat event.
How did you get involved in campus life? What advice would you give to students who haven’t yet found their “people/place” on campus?
So funny story, I was very uninvolved when I first came to WSU. I am a commuter student so I would go to class and go home afterwards. When COVID hit I was more involved; I wish I did it sooner. The Commuter Activities Board (CAB) was the first club I joined. I barely went to the meetings in the beginning but went to them more frequently towards the end of my freshman year. I became the Treasurer and the rest is history. I would say that CAB led me to do more and explore different opportunities. Now, many say I am a bit too involved for my own good.
For those you have not found their people/place on campus, I would say not to worry. This thing takes time. If an introverted commuter can find her place on this campus you can too. I would say be proactive. Put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. I came from a school where I knew everyone for seven years before I came to college. I was very rusty when it came to finding my place again. Go to events like Club Kick Off or socials to help connect yourself with people. These events always have free stuff so why say no to free things and friends. On my laptop I have a sticker that says, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” You will find your place and your people, you just need to go on an adventure.
How do you think you’ve changed as a leader throughout your time at WSU, and what aspects of your experience most influenced this change?
I am definitely more confident and vocal. I am an introverted person and saw myself as more of a follower than a leader. When I became a Treasurer, that’s when I started finding my voice and it led to more leadership opportunities. My confidence grew more as I led more. I learned from my mistakes as well as discovered what works for me as a leader. I also met many great people who helped me shape the type of leader that I am today! Leading takes time and practice. The more you do it, the better you become at it. Freshman me would barely recognize senior me.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned when it comes to leadership?
The biggest lesson I have learned from leadership is that there is no one way of leading. Even if you know your leadership style, you are constantly adjusting it to best fit the group you are leading. I’ve led many groups. While the foundation of how I lead remains the same throughout the groups, the way I lead changes based on the group I’m working with. Flexibility is always your bestie. A good leader learns and keeps learning. Biggest advice I would give to new leaders is to listen to your team. You can’t become better unless you get feedback. Feedback is not there to hurt you rather to make you better even if it hurts in the moment.
What would you say has been your best experience here at WSU?
It’s hard to say what my best experience has been at WSU. I’ve had so many to even count. I would say becoming a president of the Commuter Activities Board, creating a successful event from scratch with Presidential Student Ambassadors, and being part of a panel to help end hunger on college campuses have been top 3 experiences I’ve had at WSU. There are so many that I have not mentioned and there are still more to happen.
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?
The biggest advice I can give to those who are exploring the type of leader or person they want to become is don’t be afraid. Fear is one of the biggest things that hinders us from reaching our full potential. I have always been afraid to make mistakes. However, I quickly learned that making mistakes helps me learn and helps shape me into the person I want to be. Being out of your comfort zone is always scary but getting out of it will help you grow. Not everything you try will be a success, but it will always teach you something new.
What are your current plans for the next few years?
Being a senior means I have to start thinking about getting a big boi job. My plan is to graduate and pass my NCLEX. Then I plan to work as an ICU nurse somewhere around Massachusetts and eventually join the Navy Nurse Corps as an ICU nurse. After that, I plan to go back to school and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. During that time, I plan to travel anywhere my wallet will let me and volunteer around my community/hometown. But most importantly, I plan to live my best life, whatever that entails.