Are Leadership Development Programs Right for Me?

Unsure about what specifically to do after graduation? Are you interested in many different areas of a business or company, but unsure about what area you specifically fit in? Leadership Development and Rotational programs provide mentor-ship, training across different functional business areas, and experiences that can help you determine where your best fit is in terms of interests and skills.

Career Development is hosting a Leadership Development Panel on September 30, 2015 in 10 Knowles from 12-1pm (there will be pizza!) featuring representatives from State Street, GE, TJX, and Johnson & Johnson to talk specifically about their LDP programs. To register, click here.  This event is the day before the Career Fair so that you can gather more information about a company/program before seeing them again at the fair.

So why should you consider a Leadership Development or Rotational Program? Here are the top 5 reasons:

  • Access to top executives and leaders: Rotational programs often have projects or assignments that require buy-in from and require you to work with top executives and leaders, allowing you to meet and brush shoulders with the current leaders of the company.
  • Rotations through different functional areas: In a leadership or rotational program, early-career individuals work alongside industry experts on in-depth projects in various functional areas of the company. This allows you to identify an area of the company that is the best match for your skills and caters to your interests.
  • Mentors: As potentially high-performing employees of the company, you are assigned mentors at the manager level or above to help you reflect on your experiences, hone your skills, and help with your career development.
  • Job placement: The end-goal of these rotational programs is job placement in an area that fits with your skills and interests. You will know what you like/dislike about a certain area since the rotational aspect of the program will allow you to “sample” what it’s like to work in different areas.
  • One day you want to be a boss: Many companies rely heavily on their Leadership Development and Rotational programs to identify and groom future leaders of the company, so the training and mentorship you receive will allow you to not only identify your interest area, but also understand other parts of the business, which is crucial in a company leader.

Leadership Development and Rotational Program deadlines tend to be around October/November of your senior year, so if you’re interested in these, make sure you apply soon!

Ashley LoBue is an Assistant Director at Northeastern Career Development.  A Boston College graduate, Ashley has over 4 years of experience working in higher education and is a proponent for international and experiential education.  Ashley also enjoys binge-watching HGTV and aspires to be like the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan, as a possible secondary career. Tweet her @CareerCoachNU

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Get Involved Now to Get Ahead Later

Students signing up at the Student Involvement Fair during Welcome Week 2013. Photo Credit: Gabi Valladares

Students signing up at the Student Involvement Fair during Welcome Week 2013
Photo Credit: Gabi Valladares

This article was written by Gabi Valladares, a recent alumna and now Coordinator of Social Media Marketing and Virtual Engagement in the Center for Student Involvement on campus as a guest blogger for The Works.

Five years in college can sound like a lifetime to some, but it flies by when you’re on co-op, studying abroad, or participating in a dialogue.  Before you know it, you’ll be out in the “real world” and on the search for a full-time position, along with just about every other college graduate.

Fortunately, Northeastern University has over 300 student organizations that can help with your skill development and aid in preparing you for life after college. Employers value leadership roles and community involvement and look for that experience when vetting candidates. Career Services can help you highlight that experience on your resume. Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved on campus and ahead of your job market competition:

1. Take on an executive position.  

If you are involved with a student organization and feel that you’re ready to take on a leadership role, run for a position on the executive board!  This will provide you with great leadership training, which is often something employers ask about during interviews.  You will also feel more comfortable having had this experience when you’re asked to take lead on a project or partnership in the future.

2. Represent your student organization at networking and on campus events. 

The Center for Student Involvement, along with other offices and departments around campus, often host events that showcase the student organizations we have here at Northeastern University.  If you can work a few of these events into your schedule each year, we highly suggest representing your group during one of them.  This will help not only in increasing your numbers, but will also provide you with the opportunity to practice “pitching” your organization to potential members and partnering organizations.  Networking is a major part of finding a new job and connecting with those in your field, so we suggest getting some networking practice while you’re still in school.

3. Partner with other student groups and committees around campus. 

In most companies or organizations, you will be working within a team.  Whether you are a part of a small team or leading a large group, it is always important to have teamwork skills under your belt.  Sometimes, this means branching out from your typical comfort zone and connecting with other student groups that have similar missions and/or purposes.  Partnerships can be formed for any number of reasons, but we often see groups working together to co-host events.

4. Attend a conference with your student organization. 

Depending on what type of group you are involved with on campus, there could be any number of conferences or seminars that might be applicable to your organization.  Test out your leadership and networking skills by taking your organization to one of these events.  You’ll probably end up attending at least a few more of these throughout your professional career and we all know that being prepared can’t hurt!

Of course, these are only a few of the ways that your involvement with activities and student organizations can help you develop your professional skills.  Keep an open mind and always be on the lookout for experiences that will benefit you long after your college graduation.

Gabi Valladares is the Coordinator of Social Media Marketing and Virtual Engagement in the Center for Student Involvement.  As a recent Northeastern University alumna, she is ecstatic to be (once again) joining the University full-time.  To find out more about how you can get involved on campus, follow/tweet Gabi and the Center for Student Involvement on @434CSC.