Leader in the making: PlusOne plus camp lead alum to 1st job
It turns out Kamryn Memmer has mad leadership skills. All it took was an opportunity, someone recognizing her potential and some great MBA experiences at Heidelberg to bring it all out and lead her to her first full-time job.
Kamryn came to Heidelberg undecided but ultimately chose sport management with an emphasis on fitness as her major. After she graduated in 2021, she stayed on for an extra year to complete her MBA through Heidelberg’s PlusOneAdvantage® MBA Tuition-Free Scholarship Program.
But before she even finished her MBA last May, she was hired as the personal training manager at Crunch Fitness in Toledo.
“It was a really good feeling being employed before I finished my MBA,” Kamryn says. “I even started working full time while finishing it up. It definitely was not easy, but by the time I got my degree, it was a weight off my shoulders.”
Making of a leadership brand
A big part of that great feeling stemmed from an assignment in Dr. Trish Berg’s Managing and Leading MBA class last spring. The students were charged with creating their own “leadership brand.” It wasn’t something Kamryn had thought much about previously, but one specific moment a few months prior crystallized the entire process for her.
In the summer of 2021, Kamryn worked as a senior counselor at Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania. The youth camp provides opportunities for kids 7- to 15 years old to experience athletics, outdoor adventures, fine arts and crafts, performing arts and water sports. She had no idea when she signed on that the experience would turn out to be one of the best decisions she’s ever made – because it forced her outside of her comfort zone like never before.
“There was one moment where I really started to see my leadership skills come out,” Kamryn explains. During the last two weeks of camp, the campers and counselors split into two teams to participate in an Olympics-style competition in such activities as soccer, basketball, flag football, tennis – you name it.
Both teams have “lieutenants” and “generals” chosen by the staff. Much to her surprise, “My division leader picked me out of all of the other senior girl counselors!”
“I never thought in a million years that I was capable of leading this many kids,” she says, noting that her team numbered about 100, maybe more. “My division leader saw something in me, and that meant a lot.”
Kamryn’s camp counselor experience was life-changing. “If not for this experience, I don’t think I would have been able to come up with my leadership brand,” she says.
It was that brand that led directly to her employment.
Combining her newly discovered leadership skills with her MBA class assignment, Kamryn developed her personal leadership brand:
“I want to provide support and guidance to others and inspire them to be their best selves.”
“It took some time to write my leadership brand and get my thoughts organized, but it was so easy when I was able to relate everything back to the camp,” she says.
Although the concept of leadership brands doesn’t typically drive job interviews, Kamryn’s made her stand out. She was able to double back to seemingly every question about management or leadership because of her personal brand and Dr. Berg’s class.
Kamryn credits all of her MBA management courses with helping get her to this point.
And while she’s still figuring out her ultimate career goal, she’s in a great position right now – “doing what I love, which is helping others get to their goals and be their best selves.”