How business school makes you a better leader

6 - Become a LeaderIf you want to be successful after graduating from a full-time MBA program, you will need to be a strong leader.

All top-20 MBA programs are known for providing students with the academic and technical skills they need to succeed in the real world after they graduate, and this is important. In order to effectively use those skills, though, you need to be adequately prepared to exercise them. This is where a foundational leadership education comes in.

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Faculty and executives at UNC Kenan-Flagler recognized that producing high-caliber students was only possible if they helped those students develop their leadership skills. For more than 10 years now, the Leadership Development Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler has existed to develop strong, principled leaders. The program gives students a solid foundation of technical skills and core courses while accelerating students’ experiences by helping them translate technical skills and principles of effective leadership into real-life application. UNC Kenan-Flagler forms a particular type of leader — one who can deliver results with character.

But why should this matter to you? Recruiters are looking for strong, competent leaders. More than that, they are looking for leaders with an understanding of why the bottom line matters, both in business and in their communities. Graduating from UNC Kenan-Flagler means you’ll be more competitive for jobs and better prepared to contribute. Here is a glimpse into what the Leadership Development Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler provides for its MBA students:

Real-life learning
In order to really understand what you learn in business school, you have to have an outlet for putting these principles into practice. For example, UNC Kenan-Flagler has numerous opportunities for students to exercise their classroom knowledge in the “real world.” From UNC Kenan-Flagler’s renowned STAR program to various business simulations that focus on conflict management, skills from the classroom don’t get left behind. They are instilled within you throughout your two years.

Customized curriculum
When you go to business school, you expect to become a better leader, but sometimes you aren’t sure exactly how to get there. UNC Kenan-Flagler has established a Leadership Initiative for students in their first year that requires them to earn credit in leadership. With a unique framework that focuses on students’ active involvement in developing their skills their own way, the program leaves no question as to how you go about maximizing your leadership potential.

The Leadership Initiative requires students to participate in a certain number of leadership development activities that are individually chosen by the student from a menu of activities. The menu contains activities like the StrengthsFinder Assessment and Workshop, designed to help students identify and enrich their greatest talents. The list of available Leadership Initiative options also includes a dedicated “Leadership Day” for all students, with a plethora of activities designed to promote leadership development. If the diverse list of opportunities doesn’t have precisely the activity or event you’re looking for, there are options for creating your own development opportunities to earn the leadership credit.

Personalized coaching
While options for real-life learning and a structured path to developing your leadership skills are both necessary in an MBA program for becoming a strong leader, some additional guidance is necessary. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers personalized coaching for all of our students. After participating in one of the many leadership assessments or simulations available, you can work one-on-one with real-world executive coaches. They will not only help you understand the outcomes of those assessments and simulations, but they will provide you with genuine feedback to help you adapt and prepare for future scenarios. The value of true, constructive feedback is unparalleled among other pieces of your leadership development and is one of the primary features of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s cycle of continuous learning.

The distinguished Leadership Development Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler will significantly enhance your individual leadership capabilities. In even more ways than are listed here, UNC Kenan-Flagler ensures that all students who graduate are effective leaders who perform well at their future companies with unparalleled character to deliver results.

To get a taste of the type of leadership activity you would be involved in as a full-time MBA student at UNC Kenan-Flagler, download our exclusive Multi-Rater Assessment. This assessment was designed specifically for UNC Kenan-Flagler students, and is used in a more extensive format during a student’s first year at Carolina to help identify strengths and weaknesses and to establish a baseline for each student’s leadership skills.

Do you want an MBA to help you become a leader? To test your leadership skills, download a mini version of our “Up Your Game:  A Leadership Challenge Simulation.” Get a taste of what you will experience in UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program as part of the Leadership Initiative.