Alumna Jordan Jones Speaks to Students About Leadership
Last week, Priory alum Jordan Jones ’18 made a virtual visit to the Upper School to speak to sophomores, juniors, and seniors about leadership and her transition from high school to college. Jones is currently a junior at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point majoring in Organizational Psychology and Leadership.
At its core, the mission of the U.S. Military Academy West Point is to prepare each graduate to become a commissioned leader. In fact, the school is in the midst of executing “Commitment to Character and Excellence (2017-2022),” a strategic plan which outlines the conditions they’ve set to innovate and improve their leadership development program, envisioning it to be the “world’s preeminent leader development institution.”
With three years under her belt, Jones spoke about what she has learned from this program not from a textbook, but rather from first-hand experiences. “Becoming a follower is the first step in becoming a good leader. You need to be able to listen,” she said as she explained how her freshmen year was just that – listening to and observing others.
“One of the most rewarding parts about being a leader is that you’re pouring into other people,” Jones said, pointing out that leadership is about relationships and helping others. She also spoke about the importance of creating a network – maintaining good relationships with all instructors, past and present, and seeking out mentors.
Looking to her senior year, Jones explained that she must choose a “branch” or a specialized field and a preferred post location; the Army has bases across the U.S. and internationally. Upon graduation, she will start her military career as a Second Lieutenant.
In a Q&A with students, when asked whether it was a difficult transition from a small, all-girls school to a large university, Jones answered, “It wasn’t an issue because I didn’t make it an issue.” She welcomed the new experience as an opportunity to explore a new school environment and to gain introspection. “Going to a new place helps you to evaluate yourself and your values and will help shape what you do next.”
As Jones reflected on her high school experiences, her advice to current Priory students was to not put too much pressure on themselves.