I, like many who have been through the Academy, was signed up by my superior at work, so I couldn’t say no. The idea of signing up for an 11 week program where I didn’t know anyone is not my idea of fun. I get nervous just thinking about it. So for me, I wish someone would have eased my mind by telling me what to expect before my first session. So without further ado, here is what you can expect when attending LAMC.
Be prepared to travel and learn something new about yourself each session. The weekly sessions are each unique in both location and topic. Some weeks you’ll be learning about emotional intelligence and the next you’ll be drafting a personal mission statement. Since just about every session is in a different location you’ll get to see a lot of Madison County and what the County has to offer. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t been to most of the places that hosted our sessions and I’ve lived in Madison County most of my life.
Be prepared to work in a team. Although there are one or two sessions that are the traditional lecture format, most of the sessions will have you breaking out into groups and either discussing prompted topics, creating presentations on your vision for the community, or working together producing live action skits on leadership.
Be prepared to work with people that are intellectually diverse. Class sizes vary slightly (typically around 35) but all classes are made up of a diverse group of people. For instance, our class ranged from a chef, a radio personality, an attorney, a law enforcement officer, a realtor, and even a local Mayor, to hospital employees, casino representatives, local government workers, non-profit directors and CEOs. Some people will be fresh out of college and others will already be retired. Needless to say there will be a variety of political, ideological and educational backgrounds with which to learn.
Above all else, be prepared to have fun. If you’re like me, you’ll likely find yourself out of your comfort zone often. My advice is to go in with a positive attitude, embrace the discomfort and have fun. You’ll learn, positive attitudes go a long way.
Jonathon Cook, LAMC '10, is a local attorney at Sansberry Dickman Builta & Cook. We are honored to count him as one of our alums and as a valuable board member. Thank you, Jonathon, for all you do for our community!