Last fall the Owen School and Korn/Ferry International announced a partnership to provide Vanderbilt MBA students access to the same rigorous leadership assessment and ongoing professional-development training Korn/Ferry provides to C-suite executives of the world’s top organizations.
The alliance—the first between the world’s pre-eminent talent-management firm and a graduate business school—will leverage each partner’s knowledge and experience to cultivate the most competent leaders for an evolving business world, and in the process, perhaps set a new model for career preparation that could extend across other higher education disciplines.
The new arrangement builds on Owen’s successful Leadership Development Program, one of only a few offered to students across the full two years of the MBA curriculum. Through partnerships that, in addition to Korn/Ferry, include Hogan Assessments and an Owen Coaching Network comprised of professional executive coaches, the program incorporates practices and tools used by the Fortune 500 to build the foundation for graduates’ lifelong leadership development.
“Leadership is critical for every level of every business today; while its mix of tangible and intangible elements can make it challenging to teach, it should be a part of a business curriculum just as finance or operations are, so students are ready to take the reins from the moment they graduate,” says Jim Bradford, Dean of the Owen School. “Korn/Ferry’s commitment to share its unequaled global expertise in executive leadership as part of our existing program confirms we’ve been on the right track. Vanderbilt MBA graduates—already cited by recruiters for their leadership—will now have a considerable edge in the competitive global job market due to training far beyond that available through any other business school.”
Working with the Korn/Ferry team and its proprietary executive-development tools enables a deeper, richer assessment of Vanderbilt MBA students’ proficiencies in 15 “competitive advantage” competencies. Selected from among nearly 70 used by Korn/Ferry, these 15 are hardest to develop, yet are most likely to lead to high job performance and promotions to leadership positions. Each falls into strategic, operating or personal/interpersonal categories; the assessment focuses real-work training experiences and ongoing professional development coaching so students can hone these critical skills and apply them in future career positions.
“Our partnership with the Owen School presents an unprecedented and exciting opportunity for Korn/Ferry to work with future business leaders at the earliest stages of their careers. By applying every tool at our disposal we can help give Vanderbilt MBA students a head start on navigating their futures and position-ing themselves against measures currently in use at a corporate level,” says Robert McNabb, Executive Vice President at Korn/ Ferry. “We look forward to the possibilities ahead for our respective organizations and the global business community.”
For more details about Owen’s partnership with Korn/Ferry, see the Campus Visit interview with Melinda Allen.