Student Life & Leadership Example

March 2021

Section 1

March 2021 - William McKay

An image of William McKay, March 2021 Spotlight winner.

Name: William McKay

Year: 4th (Just graduated as of Winter 2021)

Major: Political Science, Sociology

Hometown: Long Beach

Hobbies: Basketball, Camping, Hiking, Pokemon Cards, Watching Netflix

Involvements at UCI:

  • Philanthropy and Alumni Chair of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity - 2019
  • Brotherhood and Ritual Chair of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity - 2020
  • FRESH Basic Needs Hub Can Drive - Fall 2020
  • UCI School of Social Sciences Chinese Lunar New Year Festival - 2018-2020
  • Vice President of Scholarship of the Interfraternity Council Executive Board - 2019
  • President of the Interfraternity Council Executive Board - 2020

What has been the most fulfilling experience you have had in a leadership role?

Being the President of the Interfraternity Council during a pandemic was stressful, yet extremely fulfilling. Our executive board worked hard to make sure that recruitment activities were adapted to an online format while at the same time ensuring that member chapters were not holding events that would spread COVID-19. In a culture that is so dependent on social gatherings, we had to completely rewrite the script and find ways to still engage members and create a supportive atmosphere. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The accomplishment I am the most proud of would be hosting Kappa Sigma’s weeklong philanthropy in 2019 which raised $7,500 for Vietnam veteran Robert Lewis. He broke his hip from a fall he took while homeless so we raised enough money for him to stay in an apartment until the government could give him assisted living. 

Who is your role model at UCI? How have they impacted you?

Ekpeju Ed ENunu is my role model at UCI. While I was serving as the president of the Interfraternity Council he was our organization's advisor. I look up to him because he approaches every situation with kindness, compassion and understanding first and foremost. He is a leader that cares a lot about getting to know everyone he works with which helps him put people in a position to succeed. On top of that, he has an excellent work ethic and whenever I found myself running low on motivation I followed his example for inspiration.

Everyone experiences some form of failure in their life, how have you dealt with it?

Failure is a part of the process of improving, although it can be frustrating we cannot grow until we fail. The main thing is to not get down on yourself, when we set a goal and try our best to achieve it and we fail to do so, it just means you have to go back to the drawing board and set more realistic expectations for yourself until you are ready to go back at it. When I felt frustrated or overwhelmed I would control my breathing and work to ground myself; then I would focus on what I needed to do to improve and I would attack my weaknesses relentlessly. 

What advice would you give to your first year self?

I would tell my first year self to not be so worried about what other people think of him. UCI can be a scary place as a freshman. You want to put yourself in a position to start a successful career while at the same time making new friends. We are sometimes pressured into making bad decisions because of the social groups we are thrown into but it is important to follow your own moral compass and do things that you truly enjoy doing.