What are MBA Leadership Development Programs (or Rotational Programs)?
MBA Leadership Development Programs are sometimes called Rotational Programs. MBA Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) target graduates with Master of Business Administration degrees or equivalent business-related masters degrees. For example, certain Human-Resource focused LDP programs (sometimes called HRLDP), such as the AT&T Human Resource Leadership Development Program, accept a Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) in addition to an MBA degree.
These MBA Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) contain similar components, which often includes executive-level exposure; ongoing specialized mentoring and training; diverse functional and/or geographical rotations; special projects, etc. What differs is usually the time element (some programs are as short as one year, while other programs are four years) and the focus. Certain programs are general in nature, whereas others emphasize a particular function, industry or region.
From the company perspective, participants in their MBA Leadership Development Program(s) represent the pipeline of future leaders. From the participant perspective, MBA Leadership Development Programs are a perfect opportunity to learn about different parts of a company or business unit while having time to determine which opportunity to pursue upon completion of the program.
How should applicants with goals to join MBA Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) target business schools?
As you can see from the extensive list of companies, industries and functions there are many different MBA Leadership Development Programs. If you are a generalist, then factor geographical location into your selection criteria for choosing an MBA school. If, however, you are functionally- or industry-focused, choose a business school whose strengths align with your area of emphasis.
Unlike with Investment Management, Investment Banking, Management Consulting and Sales and Trading positions, school focus and regional location are weighed more heavily when corporate recruiters determine a list of core schools from which to recruit for MBA Leadership Development Programs. One reason is that corporate recruiters for MBA Leadership Development Programs routinely lose attractive candidates to these other more lucrative positions when recruiting at the more selective business schools. Companies will often choose target business schools with specializations and/or strengths in their industry like PG&E MBA Leadership Program does with core schools, Haas School of Business and Ross School of Business. Both Haas (Energy Institute at Haas) and Ross (Erb Institute at Michigan) are strong in Energy. Corporate recruiters will also choose schools located near corporate headquarters (or in the same country because of working visas). So, Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) recruits heavily at the Toronto-located Schulich School of Business and Rotman School of Management for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Graduate Leadership Program (GLP).