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The service component of LCS exposes students to the notion that giving back is a part of being a strong leader.

Kellogg Leadership Core Series

‘Learning comes from all sources’

Blending academic workshops with service projects, the Leadership Core Series teaches Part-Time students how to make an impact in their careers and community

By Jenny Beck

10/20/2010 - At the Kellogg School, leadership training comes in many forms.

 
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Incoming students in the Part-Time MBA Program experienced this firsthand Oct. 3 during the Leadership Core Series (LCS), a day-long program featuring academic workshops, discussions, self-assessments and service projects. A required component in the Kellogg curriculum, LCS is designed to develop students’ leadership skills and “build a stronger sense of community,” explained Megan Krueger, assistant dean and director of student affairs for the Part-Time MBA Program. Serving as an active member of the community is a part of being a strong leader, she added.

In the morning, Loran Nordgren, assistant professor of management and organizations, offered a lecture about the importance of establishing and working toward definitive goals.

“Setting the right kinds of goals drives performance,” Nordgren said. “What today is all about is generating opportunities to help you reach those goals.”

Nordgren led students through an exercise that challenged them to outline specific goals for themselves and explore ways to leverage their connections with one another. After students shared their personal and professional goals — which ranged from starting a business to breaking into a new field to accomplishing a fitness feat — others offered resources from their networks that could support those goals.

“This is about opening doors for them,” said Nordgren. “One of the most valuable [aspects] of an MBA experience is the social connections it provides.”

After the workshop, students boarded buses and headed to Salem, Wis., where they engaged in a service project at the camp of the Union League Boys and Girls Club of Chicago. To help close the grounds for the season, the students completed a variety of chores, including sweeping the floors of cabins and taking an inventory of arts and crafts supplies.

Engaging in such a service project, Krueger said, teaches students the value of giving back to the community. As leaders, “it should be a part of everything we do,” she said.

That message resonated with many of the students participating in LCS.

“It’s important to give back to the community,” said Part-Time student Tim Blaha. “Having [LCS] as a requirement cements that [notion in your mind].”

“An MBA experience is not just about [studying] books,” added Part-Time student Jasjit Bindra. “Learning comes from all sources. This is another experience we can all share and grow from.”