An Introduction to Eirlys!

Hello! My name is Eirlys Barbara (pronounced Ar-liss), and I’m a rising junior double majoring in Biology and Anthropology and pursuing an Honors degree. I’m hoping to contribute to biological research within the anthropological field in the future, and lead studies as well. My hometown is West Chester, PA, and I’ve been staying there as I’ve studied remotely for the past 2 semesters. I’ve made every effort to be safe this pandemic, and being a part of this course is a welcome opportunity to learn from Pitt online before I go back to campus in the fall! I enjoy making things, whether through sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. So far this year, I’ve made a sweater, frog bag, ski mask, and strawberry bag! I also like reading and playing music, though I haven’t done those things much for fun during the semester, especially since I had to leave my violin in the Pitt music building as I went back to West Chester last year. Thankfully, I recently got it back! Though I haven’t been on campus for a while, my favorite thing about being at Pitt as a student is definitely the connections I made with both students in my classes and the TAs and professors teaching my favorite classes. I don’t think I’ve had a single class I haven’t enjoyed, even if I didn’t perform super well in it. The pandemic has definitely hindered making those connections at times, but the learning process remotely was still fun.

I chose to join this class because I would love to gain some leadership experience and skills in an environment specifically made for my learning. Working these experiences out within simulations is a unique opportunity to get an insight into how my current leadership methods could improve, and I’m eager to learn! From this course, I’m planning on understanding what works and doesn’t work with what I already do in leadership positions, and finding out new methods and advice from the group. I know that getting insight from other students and leaders at Pitt will help me in the future when I have to be a leader and make tough decisions myself. Learning from experience is crucial and doing so through simulations is a great way to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses and work with others so we can all improve.

Personally, I believe that leadership is the ability to account for the members of a team and make decisions for the benefit of the group. I also believe that being able to weigh different viewpoints and directing those perspectives towards an efficient decision is an essential part of leadership. Skills I consider important for leadership include confidence, competence, and the ability to make quick decisions in a pinch. I believe I have a few of these skills, but I know I can work on developing more of them to be a better leader in the future. There are some skills that simply cannot be prepared for unless you’re specifically going through the circumstances, I believe the simulations will be very helpful in this.

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