Vanderbilt MBA
Leadership Dev. Program

Leadership Development Program

This short video features Owen students talking candidly about their personal LDP experience.

doN't Just learn business. learn to lead.

The Vanderbilt MBA Leadership Development Program (LDP) is a pillar of Owen's leadership experience. It is distinctive and considered among the best offered by business schools. The program spans the two-year MBA experience and is designed to enhance your first year by offering a choice of three unique approaches to leadership development, all of which drive you to better self awareness, learning agility, and the habit of development. Select the approach that best aligns with your learning style and development goals. In your second year, build your abilities further by taking action. Choose from a selection of leadership experiences and resources to master the skills in your personal development plan or just challenge your thinking. This type of individualized, tailored experience reflects the latest thinking and best practices used by top organizations. In fact, the quality and depth of support that Vanderbilt Business students receive is typically reserved for high-level executives.

a distinctive program that gives you distinct advantages.

What sets Vanderbilt's Leadership Development Program apart?

1. Depth and integration

We'll put the depth, thoroughness and specificity of our leadership development up against the very best you'll find anywhere. We don't treat it as a module; we integrate it into you entire MBA experience. And because Vanderbilt empowers students to launch and run their own initiatives - from student clubs to conferences and projects with international scope - you will have unusually rich opportunities here to hone your leadership skills outside the classroom

2. Executive-level quality

The caliber of leadership development you will receive is typically reserved for high-level executives, and it incorporates resources and best practices applied by top organizations in developing their own leaders. For example, Vanderbilt is the only business school to partner with KornFerry International and Hogan Assessments, top leadership development organizations used by Fortune 500 companies. 

3. Individual tailoring

Like no other program, we individualize leadership development to fit your needs and your goals - and to help you understand and leverage your individual strengths, challenges, drivers and capabilities. 

4. Flexible design

As with so much of the Vanderbilt MBA experience, you'll have the flexibility to choose the approach - Shared, Individual or Flex - that best fits with your schedule and preference.

5. Career-long application

Our distinctive approach to leadership isn't just about mastering information. It's about empowering you with tools and skills to assess your strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness - and using this knowledge to improve yourself, not just now but in all stages of your career.

How it works.

Students self-select into the Leadership Development Program (LDP) and take ownership of their development as a leader. Students participate in LDP outside of their for-credit coursework. See the MBA LDP Timeline for an illustration of the two-year process.

Year One

Assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Start with the Hogan Assessment, which uncovers your strengths and targets areas for improvement. By heightening awareness of your natural behavioral tendencies, you immediately begin to accelerate your leadership potential.

Choose your approach.

1. Shared Approach* (structured schedule)
  • Small micro-group sessions with business coach
  • KornFerry Leadership Architect Self-Assessment
  • Personal development plan
  • Accountability and feedback
Work with your peers, an Executive Coach and the LDP staff to determine your areas of focus and develop an action plan to work on those target areas. Throughout the year, you and your peer group will support, challenge and hold each other accountable for your development plan.

*Limited availability
2. Individual Approach* (flexible schedule)
  • 1:1 sessions with executive business coach
  • KornFerry Voices 360° assessment
  • Personal development plan
  • Accountability and feedback
Get insight into how others perceive you as a leader through 360° feedback. Your Executive Coach will work with you one-on-one to build your own unique, actionable development plan.

*Limited availability
3. Flex  (flexible, on-demand schedule)
  • 1:1 sessions with executive business coach
  • KornFerry Leadership Architect Self-Assessment
Create your own on-demand LDP experience. For most activities, no commitment is required and you can come and go as you like.

All tracks have access to Inside the C-Suite events, Leadership & Recruiting Panel and Skillbuilders

Summer Internship

Tell your story.

LDP gives you a competitive edge during interviews for summer internships. You'll have a compelling personal story to tell of improved self-awareness, the actions you've taken toward your goals and the potential you have unlocked. And the internship offers an opportunity to take what you've learned about yourself into practice.

Year Two

Continue to build your toolkit.

In your second year, regardless of your LDP approach or participation in Year One, you can choose to build your abilities even further. Choose from a selection of challenging leadership experiences and resources to master the skills in your personal development plan or just challenge your thinking.

  • Experiential Workshops
  • Alumni Leadership Exchanges
  • Small Peer Group Discussions
  • Hogan 1:1 Exit Consultation
  • First 90 Days Workshop
  • Inside the C-Suite Events

Apply what you learned—now and forever.

Take your skills and development plan into your new full-time career and beyond. You will be more agile and flexible in the constantly changing business environment—a critical factor in long-term leader success.


MBA Multimedia Gallery

 high-potentialApplying the 9-box talent grid widely used by HR professionals, our Leadership Development Program provides students with the foundation to be high-potential, high-performing leaders.

tom-w-75x75 Tom Waguespack
MBA 2013

Advisor, Financial Planning & Analysis
Cardinal Health

The opportunity to work in our Leadership Development Program (and at no extra charge!) has been extremely valuable. The executive coaching has shed light on different perspectives of managerial decision-making. I will carry this advice and these frameworks with me throughout my career.

choose your pathway to leadership

MBA LDP Timeline


carolina macrobert Carolina MacRobert
MBA 2011

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

We asked former colleagues and fellow students to fill out a 360 feedback survey, which asked them to evaluate us based on our leadership styles and competencies. Students were paired up with executive coaches to work on areas they felt they needed to strengthen in order to be a successful leader. Being in Investment Banking, one has to manage many different constituencies and lead complex projects. Therefore, being self-aware and knowing where my “derailers” are will help strengthen my leadership skills and achieve my goal of moving up in the financial industry.