Learning and Growing: A Student’s Perspective on Mark Drakeford MSs Inspiring Masterclass

Zak is a law student and education activist who co-founded Educate2Youth, a campaign focused on bridging the knowledge disparity across different socio-economic areas. His commitment extends beyond academia, evidenced by his love for connecting with people from diverse backgrounds. This passion led him to co-found The Jagan Club, an exclusive community for individuals of South Asian heritage. His involvement in both educational reform and community building showcases his multifaceted approach to leadership and social advocacy.

In April, I attended a Masterclass with Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS that opened my eyes to a new perspective of understanding leadership, resilience, and personal growth. It was a setting where every participant, including myself, was reminded of the importance of growth and learning! 

Leadership Through a New Lens

The concept of leadership took centre stage during the Masterclass, but not in the traditional way I was accustomed to hearing about in lectures or textbooks. The discussion challenged us to view leadership through the lens of vulnerability and authenticity. This idea struck a chord with me because, as a student, I’ve often equated leadership with assertiveness and having all the answers. I learned that true leaders are those brave enough to admit their uncertainties and learn openly in front of their teams. 

The Power of Resilience

Another key theme was resilience, which was discussed not just as bouncing back from failure, but as a proactive stance on personal and professional challenges. This concept of resilience as an ongoing journey rather than a one-time effort gave me a lot to think about, especially in terms of my own educational and career aspirations. Mr Drakeford shared anecdotes about personal setbacks that, while not specific, were incredibly motivating. It was inspiring to hear how resilience could be cultivated daily, not just when faced with significant obstacles.

A key takeaway was the emphasis on resilience as a continuous, intentional practice rather than merely a reactive state. Mr. Drakeford illustrated resilience not just as recovering from setbacks but actively preparing for them through mental and emotional fortitude. This redefinition of resilience has encouraged me to adopt a more proactive approach to challenges, viewing them as integral to personal and professional development rather than obstacles to overcome.

Connecting with My Journey

These discussions made me reflect on my own path as a student. I’ve faced academic challenges and moments of self-doubt, especially during tough exams or project deadlines. The Masterclass encouraged me to think of these not just as hurdles, but as opportunities to build my own resilience and redefine what being a leader means to me. 

In conclusion, the Masterclass was more than just a lecture—it was a meaningful conversation that challenged and inspired me. It pushed me to think about how I can apply these lessons of leadership and resilience to my life, both as a student and beyond. I left feeling more empowered to tackle my studies and future career with a renewed perspective and vigour.