Hayden Tanabe: Natural Born Leader

Senior management major Hayden Tanabe is living out his freshman year dream. He set a goal on his first day of classes at LMU to one day become president of the Associated Students of Loyola Marymount University (ASLMU), an undergraduate student government organization with a mission to empower the voice of the students and promote a vibrant campus life. In March, Hayden’s dream became a reality when he was elected ASLMU president for the 2017-2018 academic year.

“What can I say? My strengths are committing to long-term goals!” said Hayden. “One of the reasons I chose LMU is because I wanted to get involved on a large scale right away and take an active role in shaping the community around me.”

As ASLMU president, Hayden represents the university’s 6,500+ undergraduate students. His primary responsibilities include overseeing a staff of 40 students, managing a $625,000 budget and relationship building. In this role, Hayden aims to bring student groups closer together, create greater transparency between the administration and students, and enhance the different resources offered to student groups.

Hayden is a natural born leader who has been involved in his community from a young age. He’s racked up hundreds of volunteer hours with local service organizations and served as senior class president at West High School in Torrance.

Hayden continued building his leadership skills at LMU by serving two years as president of the Residence Hall Association (RHA), an experience he says gave him the biggest platform to make the jump to ASLMU. He has also served as orientation leader, Rains Research Assistant, senior vice president of Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, and is a member of the MAGIS service organization, which raises awareness for social justice issues such as homelessness and education.

“The extracurricular experience is very real at LMU,” said Hayden. “It’s common for students to be overcommitted because that’s what the university calls on us to do. Getting involved and helping others is a part of the mission.”

One thing missing from Hayden’s growing resume was international experience. In May 2017, he jumped at the opportunity to visit Beijing as a Lingdao Fellows Program participant. It was his first time abroad.

“I was selected to join a new LMU global initiative in Beijing to develop an intercultural approach to learning,” said Hayden. “That experience allowed me to gain insights that prepared me to better engage LMU’s growing international student population.”

So what attributes does Hayden believe make a great leader? He says accessibility is key because as a leader you have to be present to a group that has entrusted you to be there for them. You have to be able to stand with them and advocate for change. Hayden credits LMU’s College of Business Administration for giving him the tools to become a better leader.

“The nicest thing about being a management major is you get to dabble in a little bit of everything,” said Hayden. “I have a basic knowledge of business and the curriculum is enhanced by the integration of LMU’s mission. As a management major and ASLMU president, this is the best training for the real world.”

After Hayden graduates in May 2018, he (surprisingly) has no plans to go into politics. In fact, he doesn’t see his current role as political. He admits he’s been so focused on his many roles at LMU that he hasn’t spent much time thinking about next steps.

“I’ve started meeting with Career and Professional Development,” said Hayden. “I’m hoping my leadership experience will open up doors to some great opportunities. Ideally, I would love to get involved immediately after graduation with a management consulting firm.”

Time to set that next goal, Hayden.