MBA Leadership Development Program

How to Participate

Regardless of your Leadership Development Program 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.



Learning from Your Summer Experience

Upon your return to Vanderbilt from the summer, the Leadership Development Program team hosts a post-internship debrief session with Professor Tim Vogus to help you process learning from your internship experiences. You can also meet with a member of the Leadership Development Program team individually.

The Leadership Development Program also offers limited opportunities for executive coaching in Mod 1 to leverage the insight of a coach as you process your learning from the summer and to think through how that learning impacts your approach to your second year.


Experiential Learning

Second-year Leadership Development Program experiences are largely designed to support you with real-time ideas, feedback, accountability and support as you apply leadership skills in your leadership roles within Vanderbilt and beyond. For example, students may choose to:

  • Serve on Student Government and Organizational/Club Leadership Teams
  • Be a leader for the Health Care Conference, Human Capital Case Competition, or other internal Case Competition
  • Participate in a Case Competition at another school
  • Serve on the Turner Family Center Board, participate in Project Pyramid, or lead a consulting project
  • Participate in an experiential learning class or offering

As you continue to build skills through these experiences, the program supports you with:

  • Student government and club leadership topic-specific Lunch-N-Learn programming and coaching
  • 1:1 LDP coaching for all experiential learning opportunities

Click here to learn more about experiential learning at Vanderbilt.


Learning From Others

Your second year of the MBA Leadership Development Program experience includes opportunities throughout the year to learn from alumni, executives, and other outside guests in both formal and informal settings.

Starting Your Next Chapter

During your last Mod of classes as an MBA student, you can leverage the Leadership Development Program team to approach your transition to life after Vanderbilt with intention.

The Mentor Circle Program offers you an opportunity to engage in small group discussions with two to three classmates and two recent alumni, to discuss highlights, pitfalls, and plans for success as an alum in your first full-time role as a newly minted MBA.

In addition, second-year students nearing graduation have limited access to two executive coaching sessions, to form an individual transition plan and set continued development goals by working with an executive coach.

And you can choose to access a one-on-one planning session with a member of the Leadership Development Program team to revisit your Hogan Assessment results with your new role in mind.

After graduation, you can continue to leverage Vanderbilt LDP throughout your career by accessing a host of questions, pathways and frameworks on the Owen Alumni Leadership Development Program website. All of the online resources are designed to spur your continued independent thinking about how you develop as a leader.


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.