A brief recount of the past 2 years of leadership development I've been fortunate enough to receive. There has been a lot of opportunity for introspection throughout the programme; I figured it was time to commit some of it to paper.

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Matt Fry


I'm a chemist at the University of St Andrews, but in my time here I've dabbled in several different subject areas: Spanish, Italian, Maths and Computer Science as well as Chemistry. Although these seem quite different fields, they share a commonality, in that there is some formal grammar underpinning each of them. If you understand the rules, you can manipulate these tools to accomplish a certain goal - be that synthesising a particular molecule or having a conversation. I'm a keen linguist, having spent time teaching English in one of the top private schools in Spain, and regularly attend evening Italian classes. I enjoy most areas of Chemistry, particularly organic mechanism and fluorescence - hence the focus of my project. I'm always looking for new opportunties inside or outside the lab, and would like to explore the field of patent law as I think it fuses my interests quite nicely. It'd be great to meet any like minded people, so feel free to send me a message!


Go to the profile of Fatima Formuli
6 months ago

Matt, I enjoyed reading your leadership reflection and look forward to my next year with Laidlaw (I'm in the 2021 cohort)! 

I resonated with what you said about how trying to be "like" the next MLK Jr is not necessarily the best goal to set your sights on. I think that when we say that X is my role model we should be saying that they are our role model because we want to learn more about what makes them so impactful to us - their manner of speaking, their ability to make everyone in the team feel included, their willingness to take calculated risks. This would better help us grow and learn from these individuals because we've set a "goal" in our mind about who we want to be (well, more like we've done the first step of goal-setting which is to identify what you want to gain). 

Go to the profile of Matt Fry
5 months ago

Hi Fatima, thanks for your kind words, and I wish you the best of luck on the rest of your Laidlaw journey!

You've completely hit the nail on the head with your interpretation of what I've written about role models. I think lots of people try to imitate impactful leaders, which is certainly one way to go, but when there are so many examples of good leaders out there, why would anybody restrict themselves to being similar to just one individual, when you can cherry-pick the best bits from a whole bunch? 

Surrounding yourself with people who employ different leadership styles and come from different backgrounds is a really great way to widen your repertoire as a leader and help you hone your own leadership style too. If you want to talk anymore about this stuff, or Laidlaw in general, just let me know!