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MBA leadership development programs

MBA Leadership Development Programs

MBA leadership development programs (LDP) are an excellent opportunity to get your foot in the door with a reputable company such as Amazon. An LDP is sometimes referred to as a rotational program and while they are similar in many ways, an LDP will provide you with more time in upper level management roles compared to a regular rotational program. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, “86% of companies with strategic leadership development programmes are able to respond rapidly compared with just 52% of companies with less mature leadership programmes”, so it is no wonder why businesses invest so heavily in LDPs. Further companies promote LDPs because they educate the potential future leaders of the company while providing the participants a real look into what the work environment is like.

MBA leadership development programs

What is are MBA leadership development programs?

An LDP allows you to gain experience in your field of study while being able to apply your skills in a practical manner. You will likely work within the department most related to your field of study. For example, if your MBA was focused towards finance, you will likely only be eligible to apply for finance programs. Some programs also require a certain number of years completed towards your MBA.

If accepted, you will be rotated between different teams within that department over a predesignated period of time. You may find yourself working with the payroll department one month then another area of accounting the next. This allows you to experience a wide array of jobs and duties within the company which will help you better understand the organization as a whole. An LDP is a major commitment though- some programs can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months or even longer.

LDPs will usually provide the following:

  • Executive level exposure
  • Rotations around the country and world
  • Specialized mentoring and training

Why Business Leadership Is Important

84% of companies expect a leadership shortfall within the next 5 years and a further 71% of companies do not think their current leaders are capable enough to lead the company in the future. Given these statistics, it is no surprise that companies are investing more and more in the development of their leaders- both current and potential ones. An estimated $166 billion is spent annually by US companies on leadership development and a portion of that is spent on LDPs. So why is business leadership so important? 

A good leader can make the difference between success and failure in business. With larger companies such as Amazon, the value of good leadership is even more apparent since the structure of a large organization will likely have many different parts and functions, all operating independently. Good leadership combined with an MBA from a reputable school will make it easier for you to market yourself to potential employers. A good business leader will provide guidance, motivate their employees, initiate action, build moral, put their people first and show trust in their employees. Opportunities such as LDPs offer you the chance to put your leadership skills to work and develop them. If you perform well enough, you could be offered a job within the company upon completion of the program.

Who offers MBA Leadership Development Programs?

When selecting an LDP, it is important that you try and find one that best fits you. Whether you have geographical location preferences or a specific role you want, there are plenty of opportunities out there which will best fit your preferences. Here are some of our favorites!

Amazon MBA/Master’s Level Full-Time Opportunities (United States): Amazon has a very wide variety of programs available to students. Their most popular program is their Retail Leadership Development Program (RLDP). Participants in the RLDP will rotate through various departments such as vendor management, instock management, marketing management, category merchant management or retail product management.

Other programs they offer include:

  • Senior product manager (PM)
  • Senior product manager- technical products (PMT)
  • Pathway operations leadership development program (Ops)
  • Senior program manager (PGM)
  • Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Future Leaders Program (Global): GSK is a world leading pharmaceutical company based out of Britain. Their FLP program encompasses a wider range of programs than Amazon and offers over 115 international locations to choose from. Their programs range from:

  • Business operations
  • Sales and marketing
  • Manufacturing and supply
  • Research and development

All those programs are further specialized to help best match you to the program of your choice.

How to Choose

Participating in MBA leadership development programs can provide you with invaluable experience which can be applied well beyond the scope of your time with that particular company. Choosing the right LDP is an important factor in deciding which ones to apply to. Some individuals may be more free to travel frequently due to maybe not having kids or a spouse. In this case, the GSK LDP would be perfect! Others may have other commitments. This makes it difficult to travel as much and an LDP with Amazon would be best. Regardless, everyone should at least consider participating in an LDP.

Want more information on all things MBA related? Check out our guides or our blog for more information!