Vanderbilt Business

Q & A with an Owen Staff Member

Melinda Allen, Executive Director of the Leadership Development Program

Campus Visit, Spring 2010 | Comments | Print Print |

qWhat sets Owen’s Leadership Development Program apart from similar programs at other business schools?

aOurs is different in that it mirrors best-in-class, high-potential programs at Fortune 100 companies. We’ve built a rigorous, highly individualized program that helps identify and grow each student’s unique leadership potential. Development planning is a key piece of the MBA experience at Owen, and we provide the resources to help students strengthen their areas of need or interest. For example, thanks to an exclusive partnership with Hogan Assessment Systems, each student completes the Leadership Forecast Series, an assessment tool used by 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies to help individuals fully understand their own unique performance capabilities, challenges and drivers. The result is that our students have the opportunity to get a head start with staying power. The development they’re receiving now is typically reserved for top-level executives in the later stages of their careers.

qHow has the recently announced partnership with Korn/Ferry International impacted the program?

aThe partnership, which is the first of its kind between a graduate business school and the top talent management firm, allows us to take advantage of Korn/Ferry’s 20-plus years of research regarding the competencies that make or break leaders. Based on this research, Owen has built a model that focuses on 15 competencies that give our students a competitive advantage. We are also able to leverage the Korn/Ferry relationship to provide students the tools they need. We believe that successful leaders must be able to do three things: create the new and different, figure out how to get it done, and engage others to help get it done. This requires that they have proficiency in three different skill areas: strategic, operating, and personal and interpersonal.

qWhat opportunities exist for alumni who want to get involved with the program?

aThere are always opportunities for alumni to get involved with the program. Some alumni have already participated as guest speakers, industry experts, design partners and panelists. We are also happy to be a resource to our alumni. For example we have built a network of executive coaches who work with our students and corporate clients. If you are in the market for a coach yourself, or your business is exploring coaching as a development tool, we can help! Whether you want to learn more, be more involved, or take advantage of Owen as a resource, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re passionate about what we do and are always happy to answer questions or talk more about leadership development at Owen.

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