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UB’s LeaderCORE Program Wins MBA Roundtable Innovator Award

By: Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: January 23, 2013

“This is exactly what business schools need to be doing. Students who can work effectively both within teams and in leading teams will always be in high demand. LeaderCORE will ensure this development occurs before they enter the work force.”
Rich Floersch, executive vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer, McDonald’s Corporation

BUFFALO, N.Y. – LeaderCORE™, the leadership certification program created by the University at Buffalo School of Management, was chosen as the 2012 winner of the MBA Roundtable Innovator Award.

The MBA Roundtable gives the Innovator Award to recognize and promote innovative initiatives in MBA education and acknowledge the institutions that are driving change in the field. The award was presented to the UB School of Management at the annual Graduate Management Admissions Council - MBA Roundtable Leadership Conference in San Francisco on Jan. 23-25.

The UB School of Management launched LeaderCORE in fall 2010 as its educational response to the question, “What is at the core of every great leader?”

“We know from our work with corporate leaders that they want MBA graduates who are equipped with more than industry knowledge and technical ability, said Nick Everest, faculty co-director of the program and assistant professor in the School of Management. “They want employees who can transition seamlessly from business school to leadership-track careers and create value for their organization.”

LeaderCORE is a comprehensive leadership certification program that spans the entire two years of the full-time MBA program.

The driving force of the program are the 10 core competencies considered vital by the business community for effective performance and successful leadership, including team leadership, problem-solving/decision-making, and self-management and adaptability. These competencies are organized into three key leadership dimensions – people, thinking and motivation – with integrity as the unifying value.

MBA students who apply and are accepted into the program undergo a rigorous assessment process to identify the leadership competencies they wish to strengthen, and this forms the basis of a customized personal development plan.

Students take two LeaderCORE development courses during semesters two and three, as well as additional courses and co-curricular activities mapped to the competencies. Coaches from within the school and the business community provide support to the students in meeting their development goals. In their final semester, students are assessed, and those who are successful receive LeaderCORE certification.

“The finalists for the MBA Innovator Award were an extremely impressive group. It is enormously encouraging to see MBA schools continue to challenge the way MBA programs and curriculum are taught and reinforced with the students,” said Casey Rasata, a member of the selection committee and the global university relations director for Eaton Corporation. “I was particularly impressed with the submission by the University at Buffalo and their LeaderCORE program. As an employer, it was exciting to see a program that was so focused on soft skills development. Teaching students how to assess and develop their individual competencies is a skill that will allow them to grow as leaders and be agile learners throughout their career.”

“With only one graduating class so far, we’re already seeing positive results,” said Muriel Anderson, the program’s other faculty co-director and an assistant professor in the School of Management. “Our students have been successful in transitioning their skills to the work place and, as a result, we’ve had a number of prospective employers ask us to refer students who have participated in the LeaderCORE program.”

"This is exactly what business schools need to be doing,” said Rich Floersch, UB BS/MBA ’80, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for McDonald’s Corporation, and one of the executives consulted during the development of the LeaderCORE program. “Students who can work effectively both within teams and in leading teams will always be in high demand. LeaderCORE will ensure this development occurs before they enter the work force."

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit http://mgt.buffalo.edu.

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