Four years of LeaderShape sponsorship

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 8:00am
LeaderShape Fast Facts:
$125,000, five-year sponsorship from Land O’Lakes, beginning 2015
Six days of learning and self-discovery in a collaborative learning environment
64 students were selected from 3 U of M colleges for 2018 session
$75: student cost for food, lodging, and activities, thanks to Land O’ Lakes support
Nearly 250 students impacted over four years

A Land O’Lakes investment in the U of M talent pipeline: Thanks to Land O’Lakes, 64 U of M students had the opportunity to gather for the LeaderShape Institute’s annual leadership development program on goal setting, teamwork, and diversity. The program is offered each January at Camp Ihduhapi in Loretto, Minnesota.

This is the fourth year Land O’Lakes has sponsored the collaborative program. Students are selected from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), Carlson School of Management, and College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

What happens at LeaderShape: Ben Koch, CSE’s assistant director of student engagement, says the program impacts students’ personal growth, self-actualization, and sense of community. “LeaderShape provides students with an immersive opportunity to reflect on their values and strengths, as well as connecting those to their personal leadership style,” he says. “Students leave with a sense of empowerment to pursue their visions of the future.”

Student selection: At the U of M, applications for LeaderShape have become quite competitive. According to Koch, this growth can be credited to generous sponsors like Land O'Lakes for making this program affordable for students. “Students apply by answering three essay questions about their passions, visions of the future, and how they hope to grow from the experience,” says Koch. “Each of the three participating colleges reviews their students independently to make decisions.”

Land O'Lakes involvement: Company representatives have been guest speakers during the educational sessions or at alumni events for past participants. This year, for example Teddy Bekele, vice president of ag technology at WinField United, is scheduled to speak at the LeaderShape alumni event scheduled for late February.

“Many students have told me later on that the experience caused them to give additional thought and considerations to their career plans. It has widened their view of the world and many leave the Institute saying that these six days are some of the best of their entire four years at the University.”

--Ben Koch, assistant director of student engagement, College of Science and Engineering

photo: LeaderShape cluster facilitator J. Ballard