A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Before starting this year, I was already planning to attend the International Leiden Leadership Program (ILLP). I have heard about this program from my friends who already completed the program. I have been informed that the ILLP is an excellent extracurricular activity that allows you to discover your inner tendencies and different styles of leadership as well as to meet other ambiguous master students from various departments and universities. Having successfully completed the program, I would like to tell you about it in more details about this program in this blog.
In essence, the ILLP is an extracurricular program, worth 5 extracurricular credits, organised by the Honours Academy of Leiden University taught from late January through June. Although the name of the program could be deceptive, the program does not impose any specific leadership style to its students. On the contrary, the program is designed to help the students to identify their skills, strengths and weaknesses, to acquire and develop interpersonal skills, to learn about different leadership styles and eventually to have a roadmap on how to further develop themselves after completing the program.
Each year, 25 master students from Universities of Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam from different backgrounds are selected to participate in the program. Admission is based on motivation, academic background, resume and grade point average.
The diversity among students of the program is one of the main reasons that I chose to follow the ILLP this year. If you are a law student, your social environment usually consists of law-oriented people. However, the ILLP enables you to meet students from different fields, such as crisis management, microbiology or computer science. Beyond this, students of the ILLP come from different parts of the world. Some of the countries represented in this year’s class can be listed as: Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, Turkey, Italy, Venezuela, Portugal, The Netherlands, United Kingdom so on and on… Such diversity not only broadens your perspective but also allows you to learn from and understand other cultures.
Throughout the program, the students are required to attend the training sessions, seminars and a business game. The program starts with an assessment session, which is quite fun by the way, in order for students to map their skills, strengths and weaknesses. Upon this, training sessions allows students to understand how to interpret the outcomes of these assessments and further develop their interpersonal skills relating to becoming a leader, such as listening, motivation and negotiation. Alongside with these, there are several seminars given by the experts that help students to have a better understanding on different leadership styles and a fictional business game where students can apply and test their skills. Lastly, the students are guided by personal coaches during the program.
In order to complete the ILLP, the students are asked to prepare two documents about themselves and their learning outcomes, namely the self-evaluation paper which focuses on the student’s skills, strengths and weaknesses and the personal leadership roadmap which focuses on the student’s future-oriented plans to apply the skills he/she learnt throughout the program.
Definitely not becoming the ultimate leader! As I mentioned above, the program is designed for you to learn about and understand your own skills, strengths and weaknesses and how to apply these into several leadership styles. Therefore, the best approach to have towards the ILLP is to think it as a sort of an inner-journey. At the end of the program, you will have a deeper understanding on your own skills, strengths and weaknesses, develop interpersonal skills and gain knowledge on several leadership skills.
You can find more information about the program via this link. Also, if you are interested to get more information about the ILLP, do not miss the opportunity to attend the ILLP information evening.
Do you also consider to apply for the ILLP? Let us know in the comments below!