The University of Michigan is a big place. It’s made smaller by our Michigan Ross community, but it can still be hard to decide on what clubs and activities to get involved in during freshman and sophomore years. We recently checked in with BBA senior Sirisha Billa, who curated a list of reasons why you should apply to Leader Experience (LDRx) as an underclassman.

Sirisha began as a LDRx participant in her sophomore year and chose to lead as a co-chair during her junior year, feeling empowered by her LDRx cohort to cast vision for the upcoming semester.

Here’s what she has to say:

1. Be inspired to live out your values. Join LDRx to get the encouragement you need to find and live out your values even if they seem different than everyone else’s. You don’t often get gold stars for personal growth once you graduate grade school. But here, you do. There is no better environment at Ross to grow as a person.

2. Learn how to listen. True listening is the avenue by which you empathize with people, notice what makes them tick, and make game-time decisions about how to project yourself given what you’ve noticed. LDRx teaches you listening through group reflection. It’s the ultimate manifestation of emotional intelligenceso practicing it with others is the best way to learn. 

Then, you take that skill into the interview to notice what mood your interviewer’s in and what sort of examples and language they might be more receptive to. You listen to defuse a tense confrontation with a loved one and preserve your relationship. True listening is an art and, just like LDRx, it’s an activity where the more you give, the more you get.

3. Experience the deeper connection you’ve been craving at college with your classmates but haven’t had the proper space or time to build. A now-friend, then-acquaintance of mine blew my mind one evening when she said, “We’re all feeling the same isolation.” Every single person on this campus, no matter how successful we might look on the outside. Through LDRx, connect with Rossers as your full selfnot just your networking self or your “play nice, they have your group eval in their hands” self but your full, human self. By its nature, a very intimate pursuit. Come with that isolation and leave with friends who appreciate your humanity, not your business (busyness). 

4. Build self-confidence and be encouraged. You matter! If the people around you connect with your authentic self, then who they’re cheering on is the real you, not any imposter or face you put on. So come be encouraged by a community whose words aren’t empty but sincere; defeat your imposter syndrome together.

5. Have a space dedicated to your personal growth. LDRx is entirely dedicated to each individual club member’s personal growth. You know, as a human being. So here’s the deal: everyone wants to spend their time well. No one wants to be inefficient; everyone wants their activities to be marketable. But in the middle of becoming marketable, what happens to growing as people? 

LDRx is a place where you can engage in active self-care, personal development, and still continue to be “efficient”in other words, getting that special something on your resume. Here, you can explore who you are at the same time that you check off society’s boxes. Win-win. Navigate the mountain of life with your top-notch Sanger sherpas. Fueled by Sanger’s wealth of leadership wisdom, there’s no way you can go wrong joining the LDRx adventure.

Sirisha at LDRx

Sirisha during a LDRx session.


LDRx is a student-led leadership community at Michigan Ross for BBA and MBA students. It meets once per week with a small group of 4-6 peers and utilizes a flexible, discussion-based curriculum. Throughout the year, students advance leadership development and their group’s by increasing self-knowledge, experimenting with new ways of leading, reflecting on results, and synthesizing learning. There are opportunities for students to engage as both participants and facilitators. Applications open in November for BBAs.

Sirisha Billa

Sirisha Billa, BBA 2020
LDRx Co-Chair, 2018-2019
LDRx Participant, 2017-2018

Through LDRx, connect with Rossers as your full self—not just your networking self or your “play nice, they have your group eval in their hands” self but your full, human self.

Leave a Reply