The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Winter 2011 Management and Leadership Development Program: Wrap-Up and Small Group Presentations

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Professor Julie Kalish ’91 of Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric again joined MLDP for its final session of the term. Professor Kalish began her session by reviewing the memos that MLDP students submitted that presented an evaluation of MLDP. She discussed the various strengths and weaknesses of the memos that students submitted, and emphasized the characteristics of an effective memo.

Professor Kalish then turned it over to MLDP participants for presentations of the projects they had been working on in small groups all term. Students created resources to improve MLDP —whether through offering databases of past MLDP participants for networking purposes, or the creation of a promotional video to attract new participants. A full summary of the MLDPers’ projects—in their own words can be found here. Danielle Thompson and Sadhana Hall, the creators of the program, concluded this final session by asking students for their feedback about the program as a whole and by reflecting on the skills students have learned. Sadhana Hall encouraged students, “Thank you so much for taking the time to invest in yourselves, and we hope you encourage your friends to do the same and participate in MLDP.”

-- Kristen Clifford '13

Each small group submitted a summary of the project that they completed during the winter term.  We were really impressed with their work and look forward to keeping in touch with these student leaders in the future.

Group A

MLDP Group A hoped to discover why Dartmouth students choose to join MLDP, and whether the skills from the program served them both in leadership on campus and in the workplace. We surveyed MLDP alumni on the following topics:
1. Why did you decide to do MLDP?
2. Since graduating from MLDP have you utilized the skills learned in the program? If so how?
3. How has MLDP enhanced your leadership on campus?
4. Do you feel better equipped to handle an internship? (Yes or No)
5. Have you used any of the skills learned in MLDP on the job? If so how?
From these results Group A believes that MLDP will have empirical evidence to prove the efficacy of its program as well as assess which aspects of MLDP participants find helpful later on.

OUTPUT: Surveymonkey data (forthcoming)

Group B

Every MLDP session, speakers come from different places and backgrounds to share their expertise. These speakers are an excellent resource to participants, both in terms of knowledge of their fields and personal experience. For the project, Group B interviewed MLDP speakers Sadhana Hall and Danielle Thompson about their personal insights on leadership, working with MLDP, and the advice they had to offer participants.

OUTPUT: Powerpoint slideshow with speaker profiles

Group C

Our project is a compilation of interviews from MLDP participants. We asked participants to share why they participated and what their favorite part of the program.  We also gave them the choice to answer additional questions speaking to their experience in the program. The goal of our project is an outreach publication for MLDP. We feel that students are the best way to advertise this program, because they can genuinely express the multitude of ways MLDP has positively impacted their experiences at Dartmouth. Our group learned the about leadership in many ways. Indeed, we learned that leadership comes in many forms. Throughout the project we all filled a leader role in different ways. While some group members were integral to developing the project idea, others ensured that our project was executed properly and in a timely manner.  Undoubtedly, our project is the result of our collective efforts.

OUTPUT: Created a MLDP Student Outreach blog, which can be found at http://mldpoutreach.blogspot.com/

Group D

Calling all campus leaders! Our group has created an advertisement specifically aimed at leaders on campus. We have highlighted skills such as meeting facilitation and strategic planning that are particular important to being a leader. Our hope is that by participating in MLDP, leaders will be able to further improve their groups’ successes on campus. This advertisement differs from the media already available about the Management Leadership Development Program because it is in an easy-to-read format that can be used as fliers across campus.

OUTPUT: Outreach ad

Group E

Group E decided to prepare a Power Point presentation of the MLDP program. Group E members enjoyed the program and wanted to give something back to the program because it has given a lot to us. We wanted to make the Power Point so that it could be used as a marketing tool for MLDP. It could be used in an informational session for MLDP, and/or it could be emailed to professors and student groups to advertise the program to their students.  We feel that this project is important because in order to keep attracting a talented and diverse group of students, MLDP needs to continue finding new and attractive ways to advertise itself.

OUTPUT: Powerpoint for use in MLDP info session

Group F

Since MLDP sessions are limited by time, in many cases the students leave the sessions wondering about the background of the speakers. Some questions I find myself asking include: What influences have shaped their career? How exactly did they get involved in this field? Who helped them start? Did college have a big impact on their life/career choices? All of these questions are sometimes as important as the lessons taught by speakers.  Because, ultimately, if we want to become leaders ourselves we need to go through the same experiences. As a result, my group decided it would be beneficial to do a mini case study on one of our speakers in order to answer some of these questions.  We interviewed Marty Jacobs who spoke to us last week about strategic planning and systems thinking. As a Dartmouth graduate, her interview was even more beneficial because she spoke to us about her time here at Dartmouth, where she ended up after graduation, how she shifted careers, and how she started her own business. Hearing how a leader was created was just as interesting and pertinent as the lessons she taught in her session.

OUTPUT: Notes from speaker interview (forthcoming)

Group G

Based on our individual participation in groups and departments on campus, we are going to create a handout on "How can we collaborate with other departments, academic classes, or student organizations. What groups might really benefit from this training experience? What additional opportunities can we suggest for MLDP participants once they have completed this program?" In project planning, we learned how important it is to be clear about group goals and the important of keeping on task. We learned that in any group, it is important to have a clear and reasonable goal for the time and scope given, and that everyone should have some opportunity to be able to contribute equally to the group.

OUTPUT: Document with targeted outreach opportunities and ideas for special topics for additional sessions

Group H

We devised a Google form to gather internship experience information from MLDP participants to create an active networking log. The utility of this document falls to students who are searching for internships in a given field or who can make higher quality connections within the MLDP network. Ownership of this document will be passed to the Rockefeller staff to make it sustainable beyond this class. Creating this project proved difficult as members of our group left the program or were not present. It also exposed us to the pitfalls of email based communication which often creates long stalls and prevents efficient progress. We also discovered that absent driving motivation or passion, our group attempted to settle for what seemed like the easiest and most useful option available, which taught us that only in the presence of passion can truly great feats occur.

OUTPUT: Google spreadsheet (forthcoming)

Group I

Although we had been planning to create a short video interviewing one of our speakers, after numerous technical glitches and scheduling conflicts we ultimately decided to change our small group project idea. We submit to you our "pocket reference," a 2 page document (that can be printed on the front and back of a single piece of paper!) that concisely lists the main take-away points of each of our sessions. Although our video project did not go as smoothly as planned, this was a very rewarding learning activity to demonstrate how a group can overcome obstacles in its path and persevere to accomplish our common goal of producing a final project. We hope that the MLDP participants can use our pocket reference to remind them of the important lessons learned and skills acquired during the 9 weeks of MLDP.

OUTPUT: Winter 2011 Pocket Reference for MLDP Sessions

Group J

For our final group project, we decided to make a video demonstrating some of the skills a student will learn in MLDP based on what we ourselves have learned throughout the term.  We address concepts such as blogging, negotiation, leadership, public speaking, and cultural understanding, all of which are necessary skills for students and adults who want to further their careers in leadership positions.  We feel that our project ended up the way we wanted it to and really enjoyed the process of working together as a group.  Our idea for our video project changed a bit throughout the term but once we finally brainstormed and delegated tasks, the process ran quite smoothly.

OUTPUT: Video

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