As his career in the online fashion industry takes deeper root throughout Asia, Hariz Faesol is still relying on the leadership lessons — learned at Fisher — that have helped him better understand his clients and colleagues.
“From overcoming my imposter syndrome, acknowledging the importance of celebrating the small wins, to becoming more confident in myself, not only to lead, but to take a big risk in my career, I can say with great confidence that the Dean’s Leadership Academy has played a huge role in my personal growth,” said Faesol (BSBA ’19).
The Dean’s Leadership Academy (DLA) is an undergraduate program for high-performing students at Ohio State that combines courses such as Leadership and Character, Crucial Conversations and Leadership Legacy with projects and opportunities to put new leadership skills into practice. Graduates of the DLA earn a Certificate in Leadership.
“While the DLA might focus more on leadership, one of the main takeaways shaped me to be aware of and celebrate others’ feelings and opinions,” said Faesol, an executive at Zalora Group in Malaysia, who works within the company’s commercial marketplace department managing sellers in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
“There's also an aspect of personal leadership that helps me institute self-discipline and organize myself better. This fast-track program allows you to make mistakes in order to grow. You will understand yourself better, identify your weaknesses and the key areas within yourself that can be polished.”
He said the Certificate in Leadership, which is akin to a minor, can add significant value when seeking employment. And he’s not alone in that sentiment.
Fellow DLA alum Adam Othman is a sales district leader at PepsiCo who oversees a team of 20 people from varying backgrounds and levels of experience.
“I remember during my internship at PepsiCo being able to talk about the DLA and what I was gaining through it, which definitely turned a few heads,” Othman said.
The DLA “expanded the toolbox” for Othman (BSBA ’19), who remembers being inspired by his DLA classmates every day.
“Every classroom I walked into was filled with young, prospective and excited leaders who just wanted to learn more about themselves and how their leadership ability would impact other people,” he said.
Those experiences helped him develop a powerful network.
“From authentic peers, to invested professors and faculty, the DLA provided countless opportunities to create a meaningful, valuable network that I still comfortably access to this day,” he said.
Jen Shanahan, director of the DLA, said principled leadership is not a study that should begin on the job.
“Undergraduate students across Ohio State have a lot to gain from exploring their capacity to lead now, on campus and in the classroom, so that they feel more confident and calibrated when leading after graduation,” she said. “DLA professors are dedicated to helping students identify their values and better trust themselves to respond to the demands of leadership.”
Alumni have put their DLA experience to work securing positions at companies including Owens Corning, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, The Superior Group, Cigna, KeyBank, Amazon, Deloitte, Oracle, PolyOne, PNC, Cisco, JPMorgan Chase and EY, among others.