Why a MBA / Leadership Development Program (vs. direct hire)?
- Accelerated development earlier in your career – this is something that was especially helpful as a career changer (someone who did not have prior HR experience)
- Being able to work in multiple functions (specialist vs. generalist), multiple locations (plant vs. corporate), and multiple businesses (COE vs. business unit)
- Greater variety of meaningful and impactful projects that you get to assist with and lead for the company
What are the key advantages / disadvantages of being on a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
- Opportunity to fast track your career through accelerated leadership development
- Opportunity to work on impactful projects early in your career
- Opportunity to be recognized for other meaningful projects or even global assignments
- Business need of the company can influence your particular rotation – location, projects, etc.
How does the MBA / Leadership Development Program fit in your career goals?
I am a career changer. Originally, I was in education as a high school math teacher and wanted to transition into business. I enjoyed HR and specifically chose that function but also chose the development program along with it because I believed it would be the best opportunity for me to learn as much as I could in the time being. This way I can explore multiple areas of this function before choosing something more permanent. Owens Corning also really wants you to be the best version of yourself so I felt that they would push me and develop me the most into becoming a successful HR professional. I know they do this with all their leadership development programs.
How strongly did you weight the location of the program?
Location was weighted in my decision. Toledo, OH (world headquarters location) is a great area to be! I was comfortable moving here for my first rotation. For the future, Owens Corning is a global company so they have plant locations all over the country and all over the world that a position once I have graduated the development program would more than likely meet my location wants and needs.
What to look for in a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
- Cross-functional opportunities
- Accelerated development
- Access to upper-level leaders
Can you summarize the recruiting process you went through and how look it took?
- On-site interview at the NBMBAA Conference (September)
- One-on-one phone interview with an early career recruiter (October)
- On-site interview at the world headquarters with two two-on-one panels (November)
- Summer internship (“extended interview”) (May-August)
* Final intern presentation
* Leadership assessment
* Three two-on-one panel interviews with DP Committee
What were the required skillsets and prior experience and how were they evaluated (behavioral interviews, case studies, assessment center, panel interview, etc)?
- Leadership capabilities via behavioral interview questions and assessment
- The internship is used as an extended interview to gauge other required skillsets that are specific to OC’s company values and the company culture
What advice and tips can you share with those interested in MBA Development Programs?
Ask early, ask more – make sure that you are asking a lot of questions and that you ask them earlier in the process. Also, make sure that you are honest with the lead committee of your program so that they know what you are looking to get out of it and so that you know what your expectations are.
What does your average workday consist of?
Currently, my rotation is as an HR Talent Analyst so my average workday varies. I currently do the following: high-priority projects, standard reporting, training, recruiting, dashboard customization, survey work, etc.
What are the major challenges or obstacles you have encountered during the program?
I have officially been in the program for approximately one month. There have not been any major obstacles regarding the program itself that I have encountered so far. I am sure that the transition between rotations could be challenging but I would not know yet.