MBA Leadership Development Program


Regardless of your Leadership Development Program (LDP) participation choices in the first year of the MBA program, you can access second-year MBA Leadership Development Program opportunities with the objective of further stretching your leadership skills. You have three options to participate in LDP in your second year – being a part of the LDP cohort, working with LDP outside of the cohort, or not doing anything related to LDP. What you choose will depend on how much time and commitment you want to invest in your leadership development in your second year. No matter what you choose, you can work with an LDP Team member at any time during your second year and participate in Mod 4 LDP programming designed to support you as you embark into life after Vanderbilt.



Who should participate?

Any second year MBA who wants to build upon what they learned in year one or wants to be able to articulate their leadership to others. Those who participate should be committed to engaging and digging deeper into their own leadership and leadership priorities with the goal of ending the year with a tangible outcome of a customized Leadership Blueprint.


Taking it to the next level

The goal of the second-year cohort is to be able to articulate and be intentional about your personal leadership by using the resources provided and your own personal LDP Guide. By building your own Leadership Blueprint, you will be in command of who you are – know what’s important to you and what your priorities are as you leave Vanderbilt.

The cohort will kick-off with Expand, an all-day event, and land with a celebration of your hard work at the end of the year. Immediately after Expand, you will meet with your LDP Guide to chart out the year, the aspects of your Leadership Blueprint that you want to focus on, and how to use the resources to help you achieve those goals. The LDP Guide conversations will continue throughout the year to help support your efforts, provide accountability, and challenge your thinking.


Navigating your resources

There are several resources provided throughout the year to help you articulate your leadership. They are:

  • Leadership Blueprint templates: The Leadership Blueprint consists of four sections: Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading Forward, and Leading a Balanced Life. Each section has its own unique template that consists of a series of introspective questions, a summary section, and questions designed to help you prioritize your learnings from the questions and explore the actions and commitments you will need to take to live out your leadership and priorities.
  • Executive Coaching: You will have access to 3 coaching sessions to support you along the way. You can work with the same coach you had in year one or a different coach, your call. If you didn’t participate in one of the first year LDP approaches, you can work with a coach for the first time.
  • Small group peer discussions: You will have the opportunity to participate in small group discussions around topics like, Leading Others. Learn from facilitator Professor Tim Vogus and up to five to 6 peers.
  • Leadership development friends: A small group of alumni and friends of the LDP Team that we affectionately call our LD Friends engage with cohort members via programming designed to help you learn from others who are used to supporting the development of employees and what drives success on the job.



Who should participate?

Any second year who is interested in doing something to focus on their leadership development but does not want to commit to the cohort. Someone might choose this option if they are wanting to simply talk through their internship learning or need a sounding board and thinking partner as you are leading a club. There is no judgement in choosing this course of action, simply make the best decision for you and given your priorities for the second year.


Navigating your resources

Th following resources are available to an individual who chooses this option:

  • Executive Coaching: You will have 3 one-on-one coaching sessions during your second year. You can choose to have the same coach you had in year one or get a different perspective with a different coach. If you did not do executive coaching in your first year, you can engage with the resource in your second year.
  • LDP conversation: Throughout the year the LDP team is always available for conversations, as needed. This can be as little as one time to talk through a specific situation that arose, a regular cadence to work on something long-term, or a meeting in Mod 4 to help you prepare for your full-time role.


Mod 4 LDP programming

You can choose not to do anything with LDP until Mod 4 and participate only in the LDP EMBARK programming that interests you. We design programming to support you as you embark into life after Vanderbilt.

Regardless of which option you choose in your second year of the MBA program, you always have access to the LDP Team.


LDP—Year Two

Q. How do you match students with coaches?

This process is part art and part science. We leverage our conversations with you, your survey data, your Hogan results (with your permission) and what we know of the coaches to make the match. It takes about 20 hours and our offices look like something out of the movie ?A Beautiful Mind? to quote a student observing us doing the matching process. Every coach we have is capable of coaching any student, so match is really about trying to help ensure an expedited rapport-building process to help you maximize the four sessions you have with your coach. The thing to remember is that the coaches aren?t your best friend, which means you don?t have to have a permanent relationship with them to learn from them.

Q. How does the program mirror best practices from industry?

We reach out to industry often to stay current with best practices and to learn of ways we can incorporate it into LDP. A great example is Mentor Circles. We modeled this second-year LDP program based on a similar, highly successful, program offered at AT&T based on the recommendation of an Owen alum who is also a senior executive at AT&T. LDP also resembles best practice in industry in the ways we help develop students as organizations develop their high-potential leaders. For example, we use experienced executive coaches and pair it with tools and resources used widely in industry, such as the Hogan Leadership Assessment suite and Korn/Ferry VOICES 360 and leadership competency suite.

Q. Is the leadership development program part of the curriculum?

No, LDP is not part of any curriculum at Vanderbilt?s Owen business school. By design, LDP supplements your academic work to help you develop as a more capable, well-rounded business professional. Just like in full-time jobs, when your company offers you access to resources dedicated to high-potential leaders, your level of initiative, openness to new challenges and drive for success is demonstrated by how you leverage those resources.

Q. If LDP is not part of the curriculum, why do students participate?

What you learn about yourself through LDP can shape how you perform during your internship, how you lead or contribute to high-functioning student and work teams and how you set goals to build your career.

Q. Who are the executive coaches?

Our executive coaches in the Owen Coaching Network are a carefully vetted, high-performing set of independent coaches whose full-time job is to coach executives, leaders, and future leaders in industry. Their primary clients are corporate leaders, and they take on as many Owen student coaching clients as their schedules will allow in a given year. Our coaches are qualified and certified by the International Coaching Federation. Meet our coaches.

Q. Is there a Leadership class that I can take?

There are lots of classes at Owen that teach leadership skills, like Leading Teams and Organizations (LTO). These classes are part of the curriculum, and while often LDP partners with them, they are not part of LDP.

Q. How accessible are the LDP resources? Is there a limit to the number who can participate?

The LDP resources are very accessible. Anyone who wants to participate can. There is no limit to the number of students who can participate in the Individual, Shared or Flex Approach in Year 1. Some of the programming in Year 2 can be space limited based on the format or room location, as is true for some of the outside speaking engagements. But in general, the opportunities are accessible and open to all.