Elias Nelson, from Spencer, MA, is a senior majoring in Business Administration. Elias is is also the President of the LGBTQ+ Association, and Program Assistant and photographer in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, and the Social Media Marketing chair for It’s On Us.
How did you get involved in campus life? What advice would you give to students who haven’t yet found their place on campus?
I got involved on campus when I was looking to make more friends. Working for OSILD and learning more about student organizations made me realize how fun it is to be involved in clubs!
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?
Throughout my time at WSU, I have learned how to adapt and work with different types of people, and create meaningful experiences with E-board members and students. Being able to work with other LGBTQ+ students has completely influenced my leadership development and has taught me so much as a student leader that I will bring to my future job.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned when it comes to leadership?
Listen closely to everyone, and don’t be afraid to try new things that seem scary.
What would you say has been your best experience here at WSU?
The best experience I have had at WSU would be having the opportunity to hear the heartfelt stories told to me by other members of the LGBTQ+ Alliance. Being able to hear their perspectives on life and form relationships with them through our similar struggles has been life changing.
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?
I would tell students to start slow and don’t expect to be the perfect leader immediately. It takes time to adapt to different positions, and the best way to learn is to listen.
What are your current plans for the next few years?
I plan on going into Digital Marketing Management when I graduate and using the leadership skills I have learned at WSU!
Eli (center) and members of the LGBTQ+ Association and Drag Club at the spring 2022 Drag Show.