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Leadership answers students’ questions

On Feb. 11 at 2 p.m., BYU-Idaho students asked questions to President Clark G. Gilbert. Questions from students covered topics such as family, missions, study skills and general advice.

President Gilbert became the 16th president of BYU-I on April 13th, 2015. Since then, President Gilbert has made it a focus in his new position to get to know the students of BYU-I better.

At the Q&A, President Gilbert and his colleagues, Jon F. Linford, online vice president; Kevin Miyasaki, student services and activities vice president; and Henry Eyring, academic vice  president; answered questions on a variety of topics.

“I would like to learn more about Deseret Digital Media and that industry,” one student asked President Gilbert, who is the former CEO of Deseret Digital Media. “What information can you give me?”

President Gilbert said Deseret News is a media company inside of the Church, and it focuses on things like family, faith in the public square, religious liberty and poverty.

Other students wanted advice on how to be successful in their school work now.

“I always took notes from President Clark on how to schedule time,” Eyring said. “I give you my blessing that if you stay organized that your time can be multiplied.”

President Gilbert said most other universities reason for doing things is because that is what they have always done.

“At BYU-Idaho, we say we do this because it works, and one thing about BYU-Idaho students is that they show dramatic increase in their ability to think critically and to perform well academically,” President Gilbert said.

President Gilbert said he often thinks back to when he was in his graduate program, when he felt inadequate and worried about the future.

“I focused on time management and goal setting, which made all the difference,” President Gilbert said.

A student asked how students can use experiences on their missions as they apply for graduate school and jobs in the professional world.

President Gilbert said since his full-time service as a missionary in Japan, he has gone through multiple trainings that have helped him.

“After all the training, I still have not had a comparable experience in my own leadership and personal development than I did on my mission,” President Gilbert said.

Another student said he worried about rumors he has heard that jobs in the world are turning into more short-term jobs as opposed to long-term careers and asked how to deal with it.

“The points you have brought up are true,” Eyring said. “However, there is a paradox. Rarely is the business world talking about specific technical skills. It’s more about creativity, dependability, good judgment and especially the ability to work well with other people.”

One student had questions about fatherhood and asked how a father could have a spirit of discernment for a family.

“The gift of discernment is one that I draw the most from as a father in my home to see the needs of my children before they are completely surfaced or obvious,” President Gilbert said

In closing, a student brought up the topic talked about by Elder David A. Bednar and his warning about the spirit of Ricks.

“Do you feel the spirit of Ricks is stronger or weaker since you last worked at BYU-Idaho?” another student asked.

President Gilbert said he sees the spirit of Ricks in some places as powerful as ever.

“I see it in the consecration of our students, and I see it in our faculty,” President Gilbert said. “The spirit of Ricks is something we will always have to work on. My overall response to the question is I am neither more comfortable and no more panicked about it than I was when I was here last time.”

When the Q&A came to an end, President Gilbert said the meeting went well overall.

“Questions were very heart felt and thought through,” President Gilbert said. “It is always great to understand the students better.”

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