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Leadership Development Program attendance tracks at an all-time high

Thursday, August 13 2020 03:30pm

This is the first time the Leadership Development Program has been offered in a virtual format. With more than 400 online graduate students attending, the organizers sought creative solutions to make the experience engaging.

By Bri Schoepf

College of Business faculty and staff moved the Leadership Development Program (LDP) to a virtual environment, and the change to an online setting came with a welcome surprise—the highest level of participation ever at more than 400 participants.

LDP is an active learning event designed to bring in world-class speakers to educate Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy, and Master of Business Analytics students how to lead themselves and others. LDP has historically been one of the highlights of the MBA program because it provides the opportunity for students to develop their individual skills and network with their colleagues, faculty members, and experts in the industry, giving them a chance to talk about current issues that are happening in the global work environment.

LDP is usually offered in person every April and August, and it would be scheduled for an entire day and a half. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the August program had to get creative when they developed a new format with all the events scheduled online. They decided to sprinkle content throughout the week, giving students the opportunity to tune in when they have time, instead of expecting them to sit in front of a computer for a whole day and a half.

“Despite the current situation in the world, we are delighted for this opportunity to interact with our students in this new format,” said David Boss, associate professor of business in management and one of the LDP organizers in the College of Business. “We worked hard to make this a reality for everyone involved, and we believe that this new chapter expands our efforts to engage our students in significant and positive ways. We are so proud of our Business Bobcats, and we look forward to this new, virtual LDP conference.”

The program kicked off Friday, August 7, with a pre-session titled Leadership and a Well-Being Mindset, with Andrew Pueschel, associate professor of instruction in management and director of the Emerging Leaders program in the College of Business.

“I am thrilled that we are able to continue the Business Bobcat tradition of providing top-level leadership development, now virtually, during the Leadership Development Program,” said Pueschel. “This year's theme, Urgent Leadership Now: How to Connect in a Disconnected World, is a response to what leaders across all disciplines need in order to positively impact the organizations in which they engage and the communities in which they serve.”

The program formally began in the evening on Tuesday, August 11, with a welcome from College of Business faculty and a keynote address featuring Adam Rapp, professor in marketing and executive director of the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre in the College of Business. The program continued Wednesday, August 12, through Friday, August 14, with presentations from College of Business faculty and two invited speakers: Kate Terrell, chief people officer for Aktana, and Laura Reale, vice president of national accounts and strategic relationships for The Siegfried Group.

“Through both live and on-demand professional development sessions, Ohio University College of Business faculty and our invited thought and industry leaders have created a unique opportunity for our students and alumni to develop their skills and talents in a modality that best suits the world in which we currently live,” Pueschel explained. “I hope everyone comes away from their LDP experience with a better sense of self, their new-found skillsets, and a plan for success in our increasingly virtual future.”