Published: Oct. 20, 2014

springThe challenge for Leeds—as well as other great schools—is to develop graduates who are capable of formulating strategic ideas and turning those ideas into action. They must also come equipped with skills ranging from presentation experience to computer proficiency. That’s what we now deliberately target as part of the Leeds approach – something we call the “Whole Student.”

It still begins in the classroom but with a new look and a much more intentional drive. As we announced last fall, Leeds is revolutionizing its approach to the core curriculum, providing students the most relevant educational environment for the new innovation economy. Early integration of essential business functions will lead to greater opportunity for action-based experiential learning before they graduate.

And as students turn their focus to identifying and building their individual career paths, Leeds continues to direct significant effort and energy toward ensuring they achieve the skills and mindset to succeed.

We are devoting this issue of Portfolio to highlighting key initiatives that create an optimal transition into the workforce for both our students and their employers.

In February, we hosted the third annual Leeds Career Fair and welcomed nearly 100 companies and agencies to campus (page 12). That annual event provides students an important networking opportunities that frequently result in internships and employment, and participation in the career fair remains strong each year.

The Leeds Career Fair is just one of the resources provided by the office of Career Connections. Under the leadership of Helen Zucchini, the dedicated team at Career Connections gives students the tools needed for a successful job search strategy, along with many other networking opportunities. In fact, last year 90 percent of the students who worked directly with Career Connections had jobs within three months of graduation.

Of course, a hallmark of Leeds is its commitment to mentorship. Through the efforts of Katie Connor, our leadership in this area remains unrivalled among top business schools. Programs that connect students to both peer and professional mentors lead to meaningful relationships that are key to the development of the Whole Student. This issue’s profile on Andreas Haug (page 10), a remarkable student athlete majoring in finance and accounting, exemplifies that. John Callies, a Leeds board member and participant in our Professional Mentorship Program, serves as Andreas’ mentor and plays an important role in supporting his growth and development. There are literally hundreds of other examples like this here at Leeds proving that mentors matter. But achieving success requires education to extend beyond borders. Leeds has a growing portfolio of global initiatives that include a variety of action learning opportunities, such as study abroad and international internships, to keep a world of diverse learning opportunities within reach. Part of the Whole Student Experience is indeed working toward a goal where each Leeds student has a global learning experience.

The new economy requires—and rewards—richer knowledge, sharper skills and a global mindset. Ultimately the edge belongs to those who bring inspiration and purpose to their work. That’s why I believe Leeds enjoys a mix of assets that makes us uniquely qualified to educate principled, innovative leaders who drive value.