Accelerate Leadership Program

The Accelerate Leadership Program offers assessment, feedback, workshops and one-to-one coaching for Tepper MBA students.

The Accelerate Program complements the Tepper School Full-Time, Part-Time On-Campus and the Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA curriculum by providing personal leadership development opportunities outside the classroom setting.


All MBA students participate in core, required activities, including an assessment, feedback workshops and immersive leadership development workshops that serve as the program's foundation. This core provides each graduating class with a shared and personalized experience. Students also may participate in optional one-to-one communication coaching, leadership coaching, and specialized training workshops. These optional offerings are available as appropriate for each program.

  • Leadership Coaching

    Students can work one on one with professional coaches who bring experience working at all levels from front-line managers to C-Suite executives, as well as entrepreneurs. These sessions offer students an opportunity to hone their leadership skill sets.

    Together, students and coaches create an individualized action plan that focuses on the students’ personal goals and objectives related to their careers.


    About Executive Director and Leadership Coach Laura Maxwell 

    Laura has been a key player in the development and delivery of Accelerate’s offerings since its founding in 2012, serving as both an instructor and leadership coach. She contributes a deep knowledge of leadership development pedagogy and understands the current leadership needs of corporations. Laura’s passion is helping individuals identify their talents and discover the means to achieve success. Prior to joining Tepper, Laura worked as a consultant and coach with DDI, a corporate trainer with UPMC and a career counselor at University of Pittsburgh. She holds an MS in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University.

    Jared Lazear   

    About Leadership Coach Jarred Lazear

    For the past decade, Jarred has worked with leaders who occupy the highest levels in a multi-billion dollar global organization, to startup entrepreneurs, to those influential leaders who have the innate ability to make great things happen while possessing no formal title. Also, he brings four years of experience teaching at two universities. After spending the last decade in the business environment, he has developed a burning desire to equip the next generation of leaders with the skills necessary to be prepared to successfully lead and inspire others to achieve desired results. With certifications in multiple leadership programs and assessments, he brings an ability to help individuals translate assessment results to application in the business environment. Jarred holds a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Marshall University.


  • Communication Coaching

    In collaboration with a vetted second-year student coach, students receive valuable insights related to coursework and career-centered activities. Communication coaches support in-class learning related to presentation, interpersonal and writing skills.

    Accelerate also provides crucial support for the Career Opportunities Center through one-on-one feedback and training for mock interviews, résumés, cover letters and elevator talks.

  • Manager Ready Assessment

    Accelerate's MBA Leadership Program includes Manager Ready™, a behavioral assessment that evaluates leadership proficiency in nine key areas using real-time scenarios. Developed and assessed by global talent management firm Development Dimensions International (DDI), students undergo a rigorous evaluation in:

    • Interaction Essentials
    • Leading others
    • Making decisions and planning

    Students’ responses to the assessments are scored by highly trained assessors and used to generate feedback reports ideal for development purposes. The Tepper School is the first business school to employ DDI's award-winning assessment tools, thus giving students a competitive advantage.

    Because of its significance and potential for individual growth, this assessment is a core requirement.

  • Manager Ready™ Feedback Workshop

    Once first-year MBA students have completed their Manager Ready™ Assessments, each receives a detailed report of their leadership competencies. Students attend a half-day workshop to receive guidance in interpreting their assessment reports, discuss their findings with peers and understand next steps for developing their leadership action plans. Because of its significance and potential for individual growth, this workshop is a core requirement.
  • Leadership Essentials

    In this optional workshop, students explore the foundational elements of effective leadership.

    The skills and techniques in this foundation course can be applied when leaders need to:

    • Obtain a foundation for effective leadership.
    • Develop the ability to get results through effective interpersonal relationships.
    • Use feedback and effective interaction skills to get things done through others.

    This workshop is available to all students and required for candidates pursuing the Leadership Development Certificate.

  • Leadership Immersion Workshop

    The Leadership Immersion Workshops consist of half-day sessions focusing on a variety of topics related to personal leadership development designed to complement learning gained in students’ required coursework. Prior workshops have focused on intercultural awareness, design thinking and innovation, emotional intelligence, generational diversity, managing change and managing your accent for non-native English speakers.

    Students are required to complete three of these workshops before graduation.

  • Additional Targeted Workshops

    These specialized workshops aid student development in key leadership and communication skills and strategies. They are developed based on student need and requests and are led by faculty and alumni.

    Workshops topics have included: 

    • Understanding Leadership from Multiple Perspectives
    • Women Oversimplified — Focus on stereotypes and biases
    • Diversity in Organizations — Exploration of types of diversity and implications for organizations
    • An Informed, Reflective Conversation about Leadership — Preamble to and basic conceptual framework for the Fall 2013 elective, “Evolving Toward High Impact Leadership”
    • PowerPoint for Pros — Targeted specifically for consulting students
    • Building Relationships in your Internship — Techniques for growing a network of people during an internship
  • Leadership Development Certification

    Available at this time for full-time MBA students, the certification process provides a framework within which students can identify personal goals for their leadership development and create and enact a plan to work towards those goals. Students who successfully complete the leadership development certification program are recognized at graduation.

    Requirements for certification include:

    • Generate and enact leadership development plans for summer internships and second year leadership roles.
    • Meet with communication and leadership coaches throughout the program.
    • Participate in workshops.
    • Attend leadership journey seminars.
    • Submit evidence of the completed plans.
    • Present summary of leadership journey.
  • Leadership Journey Speaker Series

    This series provides students with an unprecedented opportunity to hear directly from experienced leaders about how they achieved their leadership positions, the everyday and life-changing choices they’ve made, and their relationships in leading people.

    2013-2014 Speaker Series

    Paul Frank

    Currently a principal with PricewaterhouseCooper's Advisory Services FS/Insurance practice, Paul Frank has over 20 years of experience in operational and technology strategy development, complex program management and advising chief information officers on issues related to running IT as a business. His experience spans across key insurance segments, including commercial, personal, life and disability on the carrier side, as well as the commercial brokerage space. From 2000 to 2010, he was a partner at Diamond Management and Technology Consultants. His expertise is in operational strategy, technology strategy, IT finance and planning, IT portfolio analysis, IT benchmarking, IT chargeback, program management, and vendor management.

    Carol Jackson

    Carol Jackson has over 15 years of experience in chemicals, coatings and specialty steel industries and most recently served as vice president of the bar, wire, and strip business units of Carpenter Technology Corporation. In this role, she oversaw P&L for over $700 million in sales of specialty metal products to customers in the aerospace, automotive, medical, industrial, consumer and energy markets.  A licensed attorney with a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, she also earned a Tepper MBA in 1998.

    John McCue

    John McCue is a principal at Deloitte LLP with over 24 years of diverse energy and utility industry consulting experience. He is the U.S. Energy and Resources industry leader, as well as the U.S. Power and Utilities sector leader, and is a vice chairman of Deloitte LLP. McCue has deep experience in the energy and utility industries, spanning the electric, gas, water and exploration and production industry segments. Prior to Deloitte, he spent four years as a petroleum and reservoir engineer with Amoco Production Company. McCue has an MBA from the Tepper School and a BS in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon.

    Jeffrey Nagel

    Board of directors member and CEO 2010 of NBTY, Jeffrey Nagel also served in a variety of leadership positions at General Electric (GE) where in 2006, he was made a GE corporate officer and appointed as vice president and general manager of GE Oil and Gas Global services. His resume includes top and middle executive leadership positions established throughout his professional career.

    Gunjan Kedia

    Executive vice president in State Street’s investment services division, Gunjan Kedia oversees client services, product management, operations, financial management and strategy functions for State Street’s industry-leading mutual fund servicing business. Prior to joining State Street in 2008, she was the executive vice president for global product management at BNY Mellon and also served as executive director of Investment Manager Solutions, where she led sales and client relationships in the region of the Americas. She was a partner with McKinsey & Co. and an associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    Harsh Manglik

    Harsh Manglik is past chairman and geography managing director for Accenture, India. He was responsible for all Accenture activities in India and the strategic direction, growth and development of the company’s business there. He has 30 plus years of global business and consulting experience across a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, telecommunications and IT services. Before rejoining Accenture in 2006, Manglik was a worldwide vice president at Symantec Corp. and served in leadership roles at IBM.