Demystifying Leadership Development Programs (LDP)

By Makarand Gawade, Staff Writer


Through a series of three articles in upcoming weeks, we at Das Tor wish to give T-birds a snapshot of Leadership Development Programs (LDPs). In the first article we will delineate details of LDP and why they are an attractive career option. LDPs are gaining popularity among corporations across the globe due to the dynamic and ever changing global market place and management turnover. Many organizations are realizing the need to rapidly groom and develop specific skill-sets to meet their staffing demands. The LDPs are viewed as an effort to develop the talent needed to continue to meet leadership demands of today’s global organizations. These organizations hire experienced business graduate students and train the recruits to acquire apt business and technical skills. By leveraging past professional experiences and applying knowledge gained in a graduate school, business students like us are expected to quickly and successfully develop the skills critical to the future success of the organization.

Most of the LDPs are rotational in nature and can last from one to three years depending on the company. LDPs are intentionally designed as rotational programs for graduate students to provide in-depth experiences and targeted training across a range of business areas within an organization. Ongoing mentorship is a cornerstone and LDPs are expected to prepare high-potential experienced graduate school candidates for leadership roles through a structured framework of roles and responsibilities.


Some of the opportunities presented during LDPs are: training and sessions on cross-functional leadership development, personal leadership development and career development plan, exposure to key leaders throughout the organization, opportunities for individual and group feedback, cross-functional and cross-geography team projects, and rotations across multiple disciplines.

As an LDP recruit in an organization, by rotating to different functions, a candidate gets acquainted with multifarious dimensions of businesses. At each stage of the program, candidates build a set of professional skills and a network of colleagues that benefit them throughout their career. Many programs also involve positions throughout businesses across the country as well as around the globe. Thus, LDPs develop future leaders who are well prepared to meet the challenges of a dynamic, fast-moving organization. After successfully completing an LDP, candidates are able to develop a variety of functional skills through rotations, manage high level responsibilities early in their career, and rapidly progress by transcending roles and responsibilities. To sum up, LDPs are designed to accelerate your development as a professional, and as a potential future leader in a company.

It is important to understand that most of these programs have special recruitment timelines and typically the hiring process is done in fall semester of the second year of the degree program, and the program commences at the end of June or early July of the next year. Watch out for our next article in which we will brief you about the recruitment process of LDPs and I will share my personal experience with Omnova’s LDP hiring process.

2 thoughts on “Demystifying Leadership Development Programs (LDP)

  1. Excellent article and advice. It’s worth sharing that Thunderbird Executive Education is often included in many company’s LDP programs. Right here on our campus, executives from all over the globe visit us to continue their learning and leadership development. Many executives considered “high potentials” by their companies are required to attend one of our programs as a rights of passage to the next stage of their career. Even better, Thunderbird’s Alumni receive a 50% tuition discount on all their future executive education programs! More on our Rankings and Programs can be found below:

  2. Thank you Patrick for your comment. I could not agree more. Executive education at Thunderbird is indeed world class! I recently completed a certification in Oil and Gas, and immensely enjoyed the overall experience. I also received 50% discount on the tuition for the certificate, since I am a current full time MBA.

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