Johnson Leadership Fellows

Johnson Leadership Fellows group photo

The Johnson Leadership Fellows program is an experiential leadership opportunity for second-year MBA students in the full-time program.

Johnson Leadership Fellows...

are each assigned one Core Team of first-year MBA students whom they coach, mentor, and advise throughout the fall core curriculum.

Selection Process

Johnson Leadership Fellows are selected in the spring of their first year. Applications are by invitation-only. Students are invited to apply if they receive multiple nominations by the program’s nominators, who include the core faculty and the outgoing class of Johnson Leadership Fellows. Nominations are based on:

  • commitment to the core team experience;
  • outstanding academic performance;
  • contributions to—and conduct during—core classes;
  • demonstrated leadership potential;
  • performance as a Core Team project leader; and,
  • contributions as a Core Team member.

Candidates who are invited to apply go through a rigorous selection process, which includes a written application and interviews.


Johnson Leadership Fellows are required to:

  • participate in an intensive training prior to the start of second-year classes;
  • take a 3.0 credit course, “Johnson Leadership Fellows” during the fall semester of their second year;
  • coach, mentor, and advise one or two first-year core teams;
  • serve as co-instructors for “Johnson Core Team Practicum,” a required course for all first-year students;
  • assist in the judging and organization of core curriculum case competitions as needed; and,
  • model Johnson’s values in and outside the classroom.

Program Benefits

The most important benefit of being a Johnson Leadership Fellow is the opportunity to further develop and grow as a leader. If you are selected as a Johnson Leadership Fellow, you will:

  • further develop your coaching, mentoring, and analytical skills;
  • receive specialized training through a 3.0-credit, full-semester course designed for Johnson Leadership Fellows;
  • have the opportunity to put that training immediately into practice, receiving feedback on your efforts and using those insights to adjust your leadership style;
  • join and get to know a cohort of Johnson Leadership Fellows;
  • make significant contributions to the first-year class and to the school.

Program Leadership

The program is led by Senior Lecturer of Management and Organizations Stephen Sauer and the Executive Director of Leadership Programs Laura Georgianna in partnership with the Leadership Programs Office at Johnson.

Matthew Quadros, MBA '17

"What I loved about the JLF program was having the opportunity to support such an amazing team of students. What we learned was not how to lead, but how to guide a team towards excellence through coaching and asking the right questions. It was one of the most memorable experiences at Johnson."

Matthew Quadros, MBA '17
Asion Jackson, MBA '15

"The JLF program helped me to understand that leadership is not about having all of the solutions to every problem, but having a process to get solutions to any problem. I learned how to ask big questions that helped my core team discover their own solutions to the problems they faced. This experience forced me to grow as a leader, team member, and as a person in general."

Asion Jackson, MBA '15
Mary Foukleva, MBA '12

"One of the most valuable experiences during my two years at Johnson was the work we did as Johnson Leadership Fellows on determining our core values. Leadership is not a means to an end; it’s a journey of self-discovery. I came to Johnson to learn about business and strategy, and while I accomplished that, I now realize that I learned even more about myself. The JLF program was a big part of that."

Mary Foukleva, MBA '12
Kavya Krishna, MBA '12

"If you are ready to push yourself as a leader and take on challenging situations, this is a great development opportunity."

Kavya Krishna, MBA '12