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What’s A Leadership Development Program—And Is It Right For Me?

Sponsored by, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Liam Berry

So, you’re an overachiever about to graduate from your undergraduate or graduate program. You have great experience in school and out, and you want to hit the ground running at your first job. The only problem is, how, exactly, are you supposed to find a job that provides everything you’re looking for?

Even the most specialized fields contain endless possibilities when it comes to actually practicing them in the real world. Many students—including and especially the ones who excel in their chosen fields—have trouble deciding on a specific direction to take their career.

If you’re an overachiever with a desire to establish yourself as a leader early on in your career, then a Leadership Development Program could be perfect for you.

What’s a Leadership Development Program?

Are you familiar with Rotational Programs? If you participate in one of these, you’ll be rotating to different department or teams within the same company over a predetermined period of time.

Well, Leadership Development Programs take that concept and elevate it. You can think of them as elite Rotational Programs designed to fast-track your career in your field of choice. Leadership Development Programs allow recent grads to familiarize themselves with the industry while also learning leadership and management skills that will allow them to advance more quickly within the company.

But unlike a general Rotational Program, a Leadership Development Program offers exposure to different areas within a specific field or industry. They also usually require a degree that aligns with the program you want to apply for. If you apply for a program in Finance, for instance, you’ll most likely need to have studied finance, accounting, or economics.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, offers Leadership Development Programs across their company. Take, for example, their Operations Leadership Development Program. It involves four six-month rotations in which you immerse yourself in various parts of the operations function, including manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most respected operations leaders in the world in order to accelerate your technical, professional, and leadership development.

There’s also their Human Resources Leadership Development Program. It focuses on building the next generation of HR leaders through rotational assignments in important fields like mergers and acquisitions, diversity and inclusion, talent management, and employee relations.

Gaining this kind of exposure is what makes Leadership Development Programs such a great way to kick-start your career.

Am I right for a Leadership Development Program?

Leadership Development Programs usually cater to recent grads and graduate students who want to work in a competitive, intensive program centered on their field of study.

This usually entails a commitment—at least a year or two. However, you can have some assurance that, if you perform well, there will be a permanent place for you within the organization.

Even if there isn’t a guaranteed offer, most companies do hire their Leadership Development Program graduates. After all, they chose you from hundreds or thousands of candidates to fill a very small class. (At Thermo Fisher, the final program comprises only 50 or so people.) They also devote considerable time and money in your career development.

They’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to figure out a potential specialty and help you acquire more valuable experience. Not to mention you’ll be building way more contacts at the company, because you’ll be rotating across teams. This will make future job searches a bit easier, giving you a broader network to tap into.

It’s a big commitment that comes with a major payoff.

Leadership Development Programs can be major commitments—some will even ask you to move around to new parts of the country or the world.

Yet a major commitment often means a major payoff down the road. You’ll be in a great position when it comes to long-term employment. You’ll have more—and sharper—skills. You’ll know way more about the industry and the different fields within your space. And, chances are, you’ll have met many interesting and inspiring people along the way.

Interested in working for a company that offers Leadership Development Programs? Learn more about Thermo Fisher by visiting their WayUp company profile!

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