Leadership Fellows

William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows enthusiastically take up key positions on a team responsible for providing every first-year MBA student the opportunity to enhance his or her leadership potential. Values core to the program are trust, curiosity, optimism, diplomacy, service, teamwork and development of self and others. Leadership Fellows (LFs) are service-oriented and highly committed students that learn concrete leadership strategies, apply those learnings to support the development of first-year Learning Teams, and habitually reflect on how they can improve as students of leadership.


  • Be part of a community of peers dedicated to personal and professional growth
  • Increase your own level of self-awareness and receive feedback from peers, staff, and faculty
  • Define leadership development goals and track progress for self and others
  • Participate in rigorous training focused on evaluation techniques and mentoring skills
  • Deliver an intensive learning experience to first-year students designed to build transferable skills that promote effective personal and team performance
  • Plan and lead development activities for both individuals and the cohort throughout the year
  • Learn to effectively manage interpersonal relationships
  • Gain experience in team development, conflict resolution, and group facilitation

Time Commitments

The William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows program is an intensive 16-month leadership development and coaching role with specific time commitments. During the required first-year Pre-term, Leadership Fellows play a critical role in the Learning Team formation process. They deliver the Learning Team Experience and Team Innovation Project, serve as Teaching Assistants for MGMT 610 under faculty direction, and facilitate 360 feedback sessions. Fellows also establish 1:1 mentoring and support relationships with each member of their Learning Teams.

Leadership Fellows then serve as team process consultants and stewards of both individual and cohort development throughout the regular academic year. As peer coaches, the Fellows direct regular reflection, goal-setting and accountability touchpoints across the first year experience. Biweekly LF morning meetings enable continued learning on topics relevant to first-year concerns and assist with coordination among LF Committees. Leadership Fellows are essential in recruiting the next class of Fellows, thus cultivating their promotion, interviewing and onboarding capabilities. By their development of first-year students and teams, Leadership Fellows gain experience with practical leadership tools that will be applicable in every area of their lives after Wharton.

Commitment Details

Spring (1Y)

  • Starting mid-March through to the end of April, all-day trainings every Friday and 1-2 Saturdays
  • Attend one morning (8 – 8:50am) meeting with current Leadership Fellows to facilitate knowledge transfer (LFs need not regularly attend morning meetings until their second-year)
  • Depending on scheduling, first-year LFs may also be invited to the Spring Symposium with William P. Lauder

Summer & Pre-Term (2Y)

  • Remain in Contact and Communication with the Program
  • Form Quads and First Year Cohort Assignments
  • Return to campus in early August for Pre-Term Facilitation Training
  • Support the Delivery of the Learning Team Experience and Team Innovation Project
  • Serve as Teaching Assistants during MGMT 610
  • Conduct One-on-One Coaching Sessions with First Years
  • Define Leadership Fellow Community Vision and Values

Fall (2Y)

  • Conduct MGMT610 Debrief Meetings with Learning Teams
  • Conduct One-on-One Coaching Sessions with First Years
  • Facilitate Learning Team 360 Process and Feedback Sessions
  • Attend Bi-weekly Morning Meetings (8am – 8:50am)
  • Attend Leadership Fellows Fall Symposium with William P. Lauder
  • Organize and Lead Cohort-level Learning Events
  • Establish Objectives and Plans for LF Committees
  • Participate in LF Community Events
  • Leadership Fellow Recruiting

Spring (2Y)

  • Support Leadership Fellow Recruiting (Interviews and Onboarding)
  • Conduct One-on-One Coaching Sessions with First Years
  • Support First Years through Leadership Development Goals and Reflection Touchpoints
  • Organize and Lead Cohort-level Learning Events
  • Coach and Mentor Newly Selected Leadership Fellow Class
  • Attend Bi-weekly Morning Meetings (8am – 8:50am)
  • Attend Leadership Fellows Spring Symposium with William P. Lauder
  • Execute on LF Committee Activities
  • Participate in Leadership Fellow Community Events
  • Serve as Team Process Consultants for Club & Conference Leadership Teams

Application Process

The process to become part of the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Class of 2020 involves 3 stages including online application, in-person interviews and team-based activities. Information sessions will be held over lunch in early December with current Leadership Fellows available for questions. The online application deadline is January 4th (during Winter Break) so students should plan their submission timing accordingly. Candidates must be available for interviews during one evening between January 22nd – 24th or mid-day on January 25th. The final round will be held the full evening of either February 12th or 13th (candidates will pick one date). Pending scheduling, elected Fellows may have the immediate opportunity to attend the Spring LF Symposium with William P. Lauder.


Essay Questions (Maximum 500 Words unless Otherwise Noted)
  • Why would you like to be a William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellow? (max 500 words)
  • Describe how you have demonstrated the Leadership Fellows values so far at Wharton?
  • What is the most challenging feedback you have received from a teammate (can be but not necessarily a Learning Teammate) during your MBA experience so far? Why was this feedback challenging for you and what steps have you taken to act on the feedback?
  • Describe one recent leadership learning and how you would promote its adoption at Wharton through an activity or service?
  • Please share a bulleted list of your top priorities for your second year at Wharton? (max 200 words)
Recommendations from Wharton Peers

Secure two recommendations from peers within the Wharton community who have had the opportunity to witness your leadership. These recommenders should not be William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows or members of the Management 610 Faculty. After completing this form in the online application, your recommenders will get a system-generated email requesting feedback on you. Peer Recommendations must be returned by the application deadline. Please provide ample time for your recommenders to complete this form.

William P. Lauder

William P. Lauder, W’83, is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees, the Lauder Institute Board of Governors, the Wharton Leadership Advisory Board, and a lecturer in the Wharton School. Mr. Lauder has committed $4 million to endow the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Program.


Lynn KrageDirector

Gwendolyn McDay, Associate Director