Derek Zhou ‘ 19 – Student Spotlight

Business – Management Information Systems | Austin, Texas  Peer Mentor in the Leadership Living Learning Community (L3C) & Mentor for Mays Business School Freshman Business Initiative

L3C & the Peer Mentor Program

“L3C is a freshman leadership organization in which Texas A&M students can begin college in a community-based, dorm-style living environment. The Leadership Living Learning Community allows freshmen who are studying within the same disciplines to live together in a community setting. For the three years I’ve been in L3C, I’ve work mostly with other peer mentors to facilitate a learning environment for both the mentors and freshmen. We work to activate each mentors’ specific traits to help them become the best leaders they can be and to capitalize on existing strengths. For the freshmen, it’s more about creating the groundwork to start building leadership skills and teaching them more about leadership concepts.”

“Leadership for me is the process of influencing others. It’s all about the exchange of ideas and how that affects both you and your followers in the future. L3c has helped me develop myself into a much more thoughtful individual. The experiences I’ve gone through have shown me a difference side of the world, one that I would never had seen if I hadn’t allowed myself to take the dive into the experience.”

First – Generation Aggie

“Since I’m the first in my family to attend college, I was not familiar with the academic culture and had not experienced this side of school spirit. Texas A&M—specifically L3C—has helped me change and become more outgoing. I used to be really shy and awkward, and did not consider myself a people person. I’m still shy and awkward, only now I can actually function around people more easily. It takes all kinds of people to make Texas A&M special, including shy and awkward students.”

Advice for Students

“Texas A&M University is a big place and it’s really important to find your niche. Finding a niche that fits your personality will help to provide the support system you need at a university that can at times be overwhelming.”

Next Steps

“I would love to work in mediation or alternate dispute resolutions. Just being able to work with two parties to try and find a middle ground. I can’t do a stale work environment. I like to have stuff always changing. I feel like within this job you would be able to hear a new story every day.”

Quote to Live By

“Keep life in your eyes. Shape your own life. No one else can define it or create it for you.”

Defined by Core Values

“Leadership is the core value that defines me. The process of going through my second year of L3C as a mentor was enlightening. I learned a lot about my leadership style and how it aligns with the other peer mentors in the program. It was a crazy educational year, but it helped define what leadership means to me. My personal definition of leadership has to do with the process of influencing others.”

Aggie Traditions

“Bonfire Remembrance is my favorite Aggie tradition. We come together each year on November 18 at 2:42 a.m. to pay respect to the 12 Aggies who lost their lives when bonfire fell in 1999. It is incredible to experience this powerful emotion with so many other Aggies.”

By: Athlyn Allen ’19
Division of Student Affairs Marketing Intern