Leadership and management are buzzwords that seem to be thrown around a lot in professional settings. It’s hard to log in to LinkedIn without seeing an article that extols the importance of these sometimes elusive skills. To paraphrase a Forbes article on building leadership, the best way to strengthen your leadership skills and learn to manage effectively entails:
- self-reflection and examination to become familiar with your areas for growth
- consistent practice and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone
- focused learning through courses to strengthen your skills
Working toward leadership and management skills often means taking continuing education courses to get certified in these professional competencies. José Tercero was one such person who followed this path. Hailing from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Tercero has a background in law. He moved to the U.S. in 1998, working in event planning, law and banking, before deciding to broaden his career options by pursuing a certificate in Leadership and Management at UC Berkeley Extension. Why did he choose UC Berkeley Extension? "[Berkeley] is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States and the world," he replies.
For Tercero, completing the certificate in 2015 was life-changing: Shortly afterward, Tercero connected with Elsie McAteer, the former City and County of San Francisco Director of Sales and Marketing, who frequented the bank where he worked. "One of the things that kicked off [the conversation] was my certificate," he recalls. McAteer insisted Tercero apply to an events management position out of City Hall, where he now works.
"The certificate pays off once you graduate," he enthuses. "UC Berkeley has the most awarded and experienced professors of any institution. It opens doors and gives you the best opportunities. I became a member of a management team."
Tercero continues in the footsteps of educational trail-blazers. His maternal grandmother was the first woman who graduated as a medical doctor in Honduras in 1945. "She was one of the three inspirations I’ve ever had. Education is the key; I never stopped going to school. I dedicated my certificate to my family and her memory."
With the Certificate Program in Leadership and Management, you learn about the latest principles, strategic concepts, philosophies and advanced applications in the field. Grounded in the practical aspects of day-to-day management, the curriculum develops knowledge and skills useful to a position of influence, even if you are not in a formal management role. Core courses include Effective Leadership and Management, Business Negotiating, Power and Influence in Organizations and Organizational Communication Strategies for Managers, among others.