We like to tell our students to “learn to lead, lead with purpose.” One of our very own interns and peer educators, Ziad Asadi, does just that. As the 2020 spring quarter comes to a close, the Center for Student Involvement awards Asadi with the Adams Award for his exceptional leadership of the Video Game Orchestra at UC Davis.
“I believe that in creating VGO at UCD, I helped make an impact on people who have a passion for music, but no outlet that spoke to them,” says Asadi. “My role as president of VGO at UCD requires me to do many things. I need to make sure all the moving parts work together seamlessly. This involves being able to communicate with different people about different topics and actually understanding each other to make sure everything gets accomplished.”
Leading the VGO is no simple task, and Asadi recalls several challenges he faced and overcame. A memorable one for him is the California wildfire crisis that heavily impacted the UC Davis campus in the 2018 fall quarter. “The smoke caused us to lose our concert venue and we needed to find another one within 2 weeks,” Asadi says. “We needed to reorganize how the whole orchestra would be seated. And, due to the new venue accepting us so soon before the concert, we also had far less time for set up, dress rehearsal, and break time. Although I remember that day being extremely rough, I believe we managed because everyone was working together.”
While holding an executive role for VGO, Asadi praises the teamwork and collective enthusiasm of his fellow musicians amid their venue struggles. “We all wanted this concert to happen, as it was the first VGO concert for many of the members, and our second concert ever,” Asadi says. “This required much communication and dedication from everyone involved and it wouldn’t have been accomplished without the enthusiasm of the members of VGO at UCD.”
In addition to leading the Video Game Orchestra, Asadi furthers his leadership skills by interning at the UC Davis Center for Leadership Learning as a peer educator.
“Leadership to me is the ability to bring out the best in others,” Asadi says. “A great leader not only keeps the group’s goal in mind, but also the goals of the individuals that make up the group.”
Ziad Asadi will be graduating in Biomedical Engineering with a Music minor and insists that his fellow Aggies to “explore what you love. I didn’t know I loved video game music until I started putting more time into it and loved getting people together to arrange and play music. I was afraid to share how much I liked it because I thought people wouldn’t care, but I learned throughout this journey that enthusiasm is contagious and people do care and want to see what you’re all about. So, go after what you love, no matter how embarrassed or afraid you are of showing it, and trust that it will come out to be something amazing.”