Leadership Development Experience
Strong leadership and well developed interpersonal skills have been identified as parts of the essential repertoire of successful executives within high-performing organizations.
The College of William and Mary’s Mason School of Business is uniquely able to provide full-time MBA students with highly-individualized leadership development that allows them to accelerate career paths, make more valuable workplace contributions sooner and derive personal satisfaction by embarking on a lifelong journey of learning and professional development.
Our Leadership Development Experience sets itself apart from other business school offerings by creating a one-on-one coaching relationship with an Executive Partner dedicated to the student’s personal development and growth throughout the two-year program.
Ongoing Assessments & Feedback. Students receive feedback on six competencies through surveys, structured behavioral assessments and observations. Assessments and observations are made by a wide range of individuals in various contexts; they include faculty, Executive Partners, peers, and internship supervisors.
Personal Development Planning & Activities. Students are responsible for reviewing and acting on the feedback they receive. In consultation with their coach, they create, execute and assess the progress made on personal development plans. In addition to development activities identified through the personal development planning process, the academic curriculum offers structured opportunities for students to practice and develop the competencies.
Individual Coaching. Students partner with a personal coach—an experienced business executive—in an arranged schedule of meetings and activities. Committed to working with their assigned students during their full two years at William and Mary, these coaches are selected based on their ability to build relationships, listen and guide students in their personal development.
At the foundation of the Leadership Development Experience are the six leadership competencies. The competencies were determined through an iterative process of benchmarking and surveying that included input from hiring companies, the business school faculty, The Hay Group Inc., a professional consulting firm, the Mason School Foundation Board of Trustees and the school's Executive Partners organization. Similar to those used in many foundational leadership development programs the six competencies are:
- Building Relationships
- Communicating with Impact
- Being Flexible
- Solving Problems
- Demonstrating Integrity
- Focusing on Results
A unique differentiator of the Mason Leadership Development Experience is that each student is paired with an Executive Partner who provides one on one coaching over the two year MBA experience.
Shortly after their arrival on campus, each first year student will meet their coach, an Executive Partner, committed to the student's personal and professional development. Over the course of the next two years, the student will work closely with their coach to develop and execute a personalized development plan. While the onus is on the student for their own personal development, their coach is there to provide support and counsel every step of the way. Students meet regularly with their coaches to discuss progress on, amend and update their personal development plans. The coach, through the use of active listening, powerful questions and direct feedback, supports and challenges the student to stretch their learning experience.
There are currently multiple coaches working with the Leadership Development Experience. All have worked at very senior levels within business and represent a broad set of industries and experiences along with a common purpose of helping Mason MBA students develop to their full potential.