One hundred students from across the Midwest participated in the conference, which focuses primarily on team-building exercises and networking. Among those students, three are selected for scholarships based on leadership skills demonstrated throughout the weekend. Representatives from two of the event's corporate sponsors, Rockwell Collins and Ernst & Young, assisted with various projects during the activities and identified students who acted as leaders among their groups.
"Clearly Jodi must have stood out in that leadership role," Gilmour said. "She made a good impression and she has earned this scholarship."
Gilmour chose Burgess to participate on behalf of Mount Mercy because of the leadership and dedication he sees from her in the classroom. He describes her as a quiet leader who is top notch in performance and top of her class. Gilmour also acknowledged Burgess' dedication to her studies as she balances a fulltime job in addition to being a mom.
"She has a busy life and this award is a testament to her ability to be organized, work fulltime, raise a family, and do excellent classroom work – that takes a particular skill set," Gilmour said.
Burgess said she was honored and excited to participate in the summit and found the experience a great opportunity to network with other professionals in the accounting field. She especially appreciated the time to speak with representatives from Rockwell Collins and Ernst & Young as they offered advice on student life and starting a job search.
As her leadership skills have advanced, Burgess said she strives to be the kind of person who encourages others to realize their potential while having a great time doing so.
"I believe a person who demonstrates outstanding leadership must have a positive attitude and a willingness to encourage their peers to share in that attitude. A leader does not just bring an entire room together, but has others knocking at the door wanting in," Burgess said.