What is a Leadership Development and/or Rotational Program and is it right for me?

There is a language in job descriptions that is sometimes difficult to understand.  In business school, two terms that often pop up are Leadership Development and Rotational Programs. Professional development, mentorship, and career advancement are on many business students’ minds, and these programs incorporate these as an explicit part of the role.  Many organizations design these to identify and signal their commitment to developing future talent.

Leadership Development and/or Rotational Programs  generally have the following characteristics:

  • Length:1-3 years, but could vary by company
  • Focus: Functional vs cross-organizational
  • Format: Some are rotational where you can gain exposure to different business areas within a company by spending time working in that area for a set amount of time and then rotate to the next. Some are project based where you work on a specific project, whereas others import you as an employee of the unit for a specific length of time.

In all cases, your work in these is understanding the business at a deeper level, building relationships across the organization, and gaining real experience to test your goals and skills in functional areas of focus.  

Check out the below resources and a list of companies that often offer these programs. Make an appointment with your Career Coach to talk through these opportunities.  

25 Companies that Offer Exceptional Professional Development Programs for Entry-Level Employees

What is a Leadership Development Program?

Leadership Development and Rotational Programs


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By W. P. Carey Career Management
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