Can We All Just Agree that the Leadership Minor is the Worst Program at UMN?

author-pic at University of Minnesota  

If you’ve been bopping around on campus long enough, you’ve probably heard word of a mysterious program known as the Leadership Minor. No doubt you’ve wondered how on earth someone could minor in leadership, a skill usually relegated to the top of a resume or maybe a Twitter bio. The truth is, the Leadership Minor is a puerile program designed to make people feel good about themselves while teaching them problem-solving skills. One of the tenements of the Leadership Minor is “to produce citizens that are prepared to take on the adaptive challenges of today and tomorrow,” but all this means is you’ll know exactly what phrase to look up in WikiHow when you run into an issue. The Leadership Minor is a crock of gopher poop and here’s why.

One of the tenements of the Leadership Minor is “to produce citizens that are prepared to take on the adaptive challenges of today and tomorrow,” but all this means is you’ll know exactly what phrase to look up in WikiHow when you run into an issue. The Leadership Minor is a crock of Gopher crap and here’s why.

If your mom made you take piano lessons as a kid, you know what it’s like to be shut in a room with an old person while supposedly developing skills to broaden your horizons and make you a better person. It seems silly to choose to do this in college. Just like plunking away at the ivories doesn’t make you a good pianist, taking a course on how to be a leader doesn’t make you a good one, nor does it make you a decent person.

You’re probably thinking, “But wait! I can put it on my resume, can’t I?” Sure. But everyone puts “Good Leadership Skills” on their resume, whether they were the former CEO of the New York Times or the first one to jaywalk amidst a crowd of people waiting on the street corner. Martin Shkreli probably put “leadership skills” on his resume, and he ended up being the most hated man in the entire world. “Leadership skills” don’t give you a leg up on anyone, and they aren’t indicative of your inherent worth either, so quit playing yourself.

Perhaps you decided on the Leadership Minor because you wanted to learn more about yourself. Okay, fair enough. However, you can learn just as much about yourself taking personality quizzes on Buzzfeed. Perhaps you learned you’re not very good at making eye contact with people. You know what else can’t make eye contact with people? Rye bread. You can get that result by taking a “Which Bread Are You Based on The Current Moon Phase and The Socks You’re Wearing?” quiz AND you didn’t have to pay any money for it. No matter how you shake it, Buzzfeed will always make more sense to your frazzled, academically fried, broke college student brain.

Surely you have some interests or hobbies of some sort that can be translated into an enjoyable minor. They translate pretty well, in fact. For example, if you like catching bugs outside, pick the Entomology minor. If you had a grand old time playing The Sims, then the Family Social Science minor is for you. Like drinking water? Boom, Water Science minor. Basically, anything other than Leadership shows future employers that you’re not merely a humanoid husk and have some substance.

If you’re an actual person with a personality then you should pick something else besides the Leadership Minor, for Pete’s sake. Broaden your academic perspective by taking classes that actually teach you something. If you or a friend is thinking of pursuing the Leadership Minor, arrange an intervention. Your sanity could be at stake.