Student Leadership Fellows Program

The Leadership Fellows Program brings together a group of talented second year MBA students to support the leadership and team development of the first-year cohort. 

This is an honorary elective program open only to those students who have applied and been accepted into the Fellows Program. 

Fellows will develop the advanced leadership skills of leading teams and developing others through coaching and mentoring. Among the competencies developed are: 

  1. Team Coaching Skills (e.g. facilitating a group, diagnosing group dynamics, debriefing, and coaching without undermining the leader)
  2. Individual Coaching Skills (e.g. effective inquiry, asking powerful questions, balancing support and challenge, providing effective feedback, holding others accountable, utilizing, valuing and connecting across differences and power differentials, and using oneself in service of another's development)
  3. Personal Development Skills (e.g. self-reflection and self-awareness, leveraging strengths, stretching outside one's comfort zone, and learning from experiences.)

At the beginning of the program, Fellows receive training in team building and leadership development from a USD faculty member.  During the school year, Fellows meet several times with USD faculty for additional skills training, planning and debriefing labs, and peer clinics to discuss specific strategies for working with first year students and explore areas for their own skill development. 

A set of readings about facilitation skills provide the conceptual base for fellows to apply in role-playing and experiential exercises for skills training, and later in their coaching and mentoring of their  first-year MBAs.

Leadership Fellows selection criteria include:

  • Completion or con-current enrollment in GSBA 535 (Interpersonal & Group Dynamics), or equivalent course.

  • Endorsement by GSBA 535 and other USD professors regarding interpersonal and team skills, including ability to effectively coach teams and individuals.

  • Successful team leadership and development experience.

  • Willingness to be present for facilitating leadership labs and one-on-one coaching.

  • Willingness to attend development clinics to receive feedback on their facilitation strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Interested students can apply at the beginning of their second semester in the MBA program. GSBA 535: Interpersonal and Group Dynamics is a pre/co-requisite for admission to the Leadership Fellows Program. 

2012-2013 Fellows

maria brown leadership fellow

Maria Brown

Current/Previous Industry: Telecommunications 
MBA Program: Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: Managerial Leadership
Estimated Graduation Date: August 2013 
Clubs/Special Activities: MBA Leadership Fellows, MBA Ambassador
International Consulting Practicum:
 Shanghai, China - January 2013
Hobbies: cooking, dancing, singing, yoga, travel

jessica critchlow leadership fellow

Jessica Critchlow

Current/Previous Industry: Higher Education
MBA Program:
 Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: Managerial Leadership, CSR & Sustainability
Estimated Graduation Date: May 2013
Clubs/Special Activities: Net Impact, MBA Leadership Fellows, MBA Ambassador, Net Impact-Hitachi Foundation ‘Pioneer Employer Challenge’ Case Competition Winner International Consulting Practicum: Accra, Ghana - January 2012. 
Hobbies: Travel, Soccer, Spending time with friends and family

"The Leadership Fellows Program has been the highlight of my USD MBA experience and business education.  Through this program, not only have I been able to hone my team coaching skills, my individual coaching skills, and my personal self-development skills, but I have also come to learn that the key ingredients necessary for the successful leadership of highly talented and motivated teams are trust, empathy and humility."

kevin filer leadership fellow

Kevin Filer

Current/Previous Industry: US Army
MBA Program:
 Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: New Venture Management
Estimated Graduation Date: August 2013
Clubs/Special Activities: MBA Veterans Organization, MBA Leadership Fellows
International Consulting Practicum: None
Hobbies: Golf, Surfing

"I decided to be a fellow because I felt compelled to contribute to the USD MBA program. Entering the business school, I felt an MBA would be a great opportunity for me to build my business acumen, but also to learn as much as possible from the diverse experiences of my cohort. I felt that, collectively, we should all be doing whatever we can to make each individual better than we were prior to beginning the program. With this rationale, I was driven to use the fellowship program as an avenue to make that contribution to the USD MBA program."

kristen labrosse leadership fellow

Kristen LaBrosse

Current/Previous Industry: Marketing in Education 
MBA Program: Evening MBA 
MBA area of concentration: Managerial Leadership
Estimated Graduation Date: May 2013 (yayyy!) 
Clubs/Special Activities: MBA Leadership Fellows
International Consulting Practicum: None
Hobbies: Tennis, Running, Traveling, Reading, and eating delicious food at overpriced restaurants using my Groupon Deals

"I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a Leadership Fellow at USD. This program has given me the opportunity to exercise my leadership skills - most importantly the aspects of leadership that are rooted in service. I have always been fascinated by the interpersonal dynamics involved when working with groups of people.  Working as a leadership fellow has given me a better understanding of the inter-working of groups, how to deal with conflict constructively, and the ways in which leaders can emerge and change throughout the group's life cycle. Thank you USD for creating this fantastic program to facilitate these crucial learning moments!"

chris neumann leadership fellow

Chris Neumann

Current/Previous Industry: Executive Search and Healthcare
MBA Program: Full-time MBA
MBA area of concentration: None
Estimated Graduation Date: May 2013
Clubs/Special Activities: Mentor Advisory Board, MBA Leadership Fellows, MBA Ambassador 
International Consulting Practicum: Shanghai, China - January 2013
Hobbies: Supporting Chicago pro sports teams, basketball, skiing, lacrosse

"I decided to be a fellow after struggling to connect with a group member in my first semester of the Full-Time program.  The situation really tested my patients, so I wanted to develop my own skills to use if the situation ever arose again.  I have enjoyed helping teams and groups get their issues out in the open and see how individuals learn from their own interactions. I think that everyone can find some value through facilitation, even if it is something small."

amber ray leadership fellow

Amber Ray

Current/Previous Industry: Manufacturing, six sigma black belt
MBA Program:
 Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: None
Estimated Graduation Date: December 2013
Clubs/Special Activities: MBA Leadership Fellows, MBA Ambassador 
International Consulting Practicum: Shanghai, China - January 2013
Hobbies: Travel, Beach, and Movies

"I have enjoyed helping others in their teams and receive feedback to develop their leadership skills."

mariel shaw leadership fellow

Mariel Shaw

Current/Previous Industry: Digital Marketing 
MBA Program:
 Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: Marketing 
Estimated Graduation Date: December 2013
Clubs/Special Activities: Net Impact, MBA Leadership Fellows
International Consulting Practicum: None
Hobbies: Dance, Singing, Hiking

"When I first started at USD, I appreciated the leadership program's emphasis on building strong teams. It helped get me kicked off on the right note, and gave me leadership opportunities I hadn't previously had access to. Being a Leadership Fellow, I'm excited to be able to share that with other students."

brittan trozzi student fellow

Brittan Trozzi

Current/Previous Industry: Non-profit, Higher Education
MBA Program:
 Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: Undecided
Estimated Graduation Date: May 2015
Clubs/Special Activities: MBA Ambassador, MBA Leadership Fellows
International Consulting Practicum: None yet, I'm still a rookie
Hobbies: Black belt in karate, travel, cooking, graphic and visual design projects, being with friends and family!

"I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as a Leadership Fellow, to not only develop my own group facilitation and leadership skills, but also contribute to the personal growth and MBA experience for my classmates."

alex wilhelm student fellow

Alex Wilhelm

Current/Previous Industry: U.S. Navy
MBA Program:
 Evening MBA
MBA area of concentration: Managerial Leadership
Estimated Graduation Date: August 2013
Clubs/Special Activities:  USD MBA Veteran's Organization, MBA Leadership Fellows
International Consulting Practicum: Shanghai, China - January 2013
Hobbies: Surfing & messing around with my Jeep

"The Leadership Fellows program offered me the opportunity to provide support to my fellow USD MBA students.  I was attracted to the service nature of the endeavor.  There is also an opportunity within this program for the USD MBA program to differentiate itself from other business schools and capitalize on the collective leadership experience within each cohort. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to meet students from the other cohorts.  Perhaps the best part of this experience has been the learning that I have experienced from observing such a diverse group of classmates.  More than just sharing my experience, this has really been an exciting time where I have been able to ask questions and hear new perspectives, which just deepens my own reservoir of leadership skills."

For more information please contact:

Phillip L. Hunsaker 
Professor of Management
(619) 260-4870
philmail@sandiego.edu

Alex Wilhelm
MBA Candidate and Leadership Fellows Coordinator
 (858) 413-6784
awilhelm@sandiego.edu