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Leadership Development

You have reached this point through hard work and dedication. By focusing on your unique leadership abilities and ambitions, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program will help you tackle new challenges and take the next step in your career.

Many executive MBA programs operate as though all students are exactly the same — with identical strengths and weaknesses. At Smeal, we intentionally limit the size of your class, which allows us to break free of this common production-line mentality to business education.

Instead, our program is built on a philosophy of personalized leadership development, which includes the following unique elements:

360-Degree Assessment

The Leadership & Organization Development Journal rreports that 360-degree feedback paired with individual coaching can increase leadership effectiveness by up to 60 percent. In fact, two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies implement this type of leadership assessment in their management programs. Smeal's leadership assessment provides you with feedback on your leadership behaviors — each one rated by yourself, other fellow students, and current or former colleagues. The results are summarized into an easily interpreted format that helps you understand your strengths and developmental needs.

Executive Coaching

Advancing through the senior-management ranks of your firm or launching your own business venture takes more than business acumen. To fully prepare you as a leader, time in the classroom alone is insufficient. At Smeal, we take a more tailored approach, pairing a world-class education with extensive personal development opportunities. Using the 360-degree analysis as a focal point, we work with you to develop a comprehensive profile of your leadership abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. You will then meet with one of our executive coaches to build a personal development plan to implement throughout the remainder of the program and beyond. Continuous feedback allows your coach to adapt meetings to your personal growth, ensuring you continue to work toward your personal and professional goals.

Intensive Communications Training

Although effective leadership requires great analytical skills, we understand that real success demands that you attract interest and resources. At Smeal, we have pioneered an award-winning program in leadership communication skills. Through emphasis on one-on-one leadership, you'll study communication, human behavior, and teamwork. You’ll practice presentation, conflict resolution, team building, and negotiation. You will learn how to motivate, communicate internally and externally in a crisis, and become more effective in large group and in one-on-one communications.

In the News: At the inaugural Executive MBA Leadership Forum, students and alumni gathered to discuss issues in strategy, leadership, and health care. "It was inspiring as a student to see the successes of alumni panelists. It really shows the strength of the program we have." --Ninad Pendharkar, Class of 2015, Smeal Executive MBA Program