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Gina Jenkins

A Focused Approach to Leadership Development

by Gina Jenkins Monday, March 30, 2015

What makes a leader? Drive, success, money and power? Or is it more than that? At Wisconsin, we are training the next generation of leaders who have a drive to motivate employees from the ground up, the ability to cultivate and maintain successful partnerships, have a commitment to philanthropy and the spirit to empower others. Leadership skills, like other developed traits, take time and training to hone. For the full-time Wisconsin MBA, our students have opportunities throughout the program to discover their inner leader, apply it to real-world situations and learn from others how best to put those skills into action.

Leadership skills are rooted in the curriculum, student life and career management preparation through the Leadership Catalyst program. This approach to leadership development focuses on key leadership outcomes within three areas, listed with examples of training opportunities: 

  1. Personal Leadership: Assessing self-awareness and strengths through StrengthsFinder and other assessments that measure and sharpen emotional intelligence, responsibility and initiative, along with ethics and integrity.
  2. Team Leadership: Training students through core classes and events on how to manage conflict in teams, valuing diversity and inclusion, and maximizing team effectiveness through the Integrated Company Analysis (ICA) teams project their first year.
  3. Organizational Leadership: Learning from top contributors in Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations during the Weikel Leadership Series about empowering and delegating, driving results and effective communication.

Embedding these aspects of leadership training into the Leading and Working in Teams core course, co-curricular programming and career development not only guides students to success in their academics, but also provides the experiences and skills that are most demanded by employers and are directly linked to successful job searches. Leadership experience is consistently in the top two attributes employers look for in MBA recruits along with effective communication. But having past professional leadership experience is only part of the story. Leadership Catalyst trains students to articulate those experiences in interviews, tell their story to employers, build passion for their industry and ultimately realize their full leadership potential, creating an environment for lifelong learning and continuous development.

What will be your catalyst for career success?