Experiences & Workshops

Leadership Initiative programs are designed to equip graduate and undergraduate students with the skills and tools needed to effectively lead self, teams, organizations, and communities.  Students have opportunities on- and off- campus to develop and refine leadership competencies from mindfulness and communication skills to conflict resolution, negotiation and facilitation skills.  Immersive experiences provide opportunities to ‘process in the moment’ and reflect on one’s values in action.  Exercises are followed by group discussions of ‘real life’ applications.  Workshops are generally one hour sessions focused on understanding and developing one specific competency and often led by outside experts.  

Teamwork in Action

Returning Student Orientation

Continuing MPPs have a chance to reconnect with their cohort and refocus on flexing leadership muscles before the start of the academic year. Students meet on day 1 of RSO at U-M’s Adventure Education Center for a morning of team-building and problem solving exercises. Day 2 uses the DiSC assessment to focus on personal styles, communicating across these differences, and working more effectively in teams.
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Photo of students at Story Lab
Communicate with Impact

Story Lab

All U-M students are invited to participate in Story Lab to develop executive-level presence and communication skills. Story Lab teaches the art and architecture of story development and delivery as a means toward positive influence and impact. Offered by the Sanger Leadership Center.
Identify Values


An immersive spring break program at Camp Michigania that helps undergraduate and graduate students from across U-M identify values to make a difference in communities. The LeaderShape Institute is a national leadership development program offered through U-M's MLead.
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students sitting in the Annenberg
Set the stage


New student orientation helps set the stage for exploring values, building new relationships, appreciating differences, and developing lifelong colleagues. We help students explore what it means to live their values as part of the Ford School community and prepare for leading from their values throughout their careers.
Photo of smiling students in classroom
Understand yourself

Start with Strengths

Admitted BA’s kick off their Ford School experience identifying their strengths and ways to leverage their strengths in their academic experience and beyond. Gallup-certified coaches guide students through self-reflection and discussion to bring forth student's natural talents, helping them arrive at the Ford School prepared to do their best work. Students learn about themselves, their new classmates, and build community at this ‘welcome to Ford’ workshop.
Photo of student asking question while others look on
Bounce Back

Resilience workshop

What does it mean for leaders to have resilience in the face of adversity? The Ford School’s embedded CAPS counselor, along with the Leadership Initiative, unpack resilience as a leadership competency and explore ways to strengthen resilience after a difficult experience.
Student speaks with colleauges
Think on your feet

Fielding Impromptu Questions

Students learn how to think fast, frame a response, and deliver a message with confidence. Participants have 3 minutes to respond to an impromptu question and then receive feedback from others. Topics can range from policy issues to things to do in Ann Arbor to the best summer vacation spot. Students can sign up on FordCareers.