May 6th, 2018 by Ida Banek

Leadership Lessons from ETH Zurich’s Classroom

Today’s early talents are tomorrow’s leaders. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that US companies alone spend more than 14 billion dollars on leadership development. Yet 80% of that budget is spent in middle and senior leadership levels. In my opinion that is simply wrong.

Certain decisions and choices in early career can significantly increase the likelihood of long-term career success. Our development in the first post-graduation decade plays a vital role in our future career success, though often this is the period when we get the least of career support.

With the objective to support the growth of emerging, high-potential STEM graduates and young professionals, we’ve decided to pilot Grit LINE project for Excellent Scholars at ETH Zurich in the period of March - September 2018.  In our Discovery Lab, we focused on development of strong self-awareness and we discussed how to strategically approach networking activities for young talents to find mentors, either in academia or the industry. Very early in the process, some of the participants decided to use their learnings during the “Meet the Talent” event that took place a few days later, where they were presenting their projects and achievements to the ETH donors.

I have personally once again witnessed how smart, engaged and dedicated young people can embrace personal development. They seek for feedback, they are very open-minded to accept it and they look for ways how to demonstrate the learnings fast. That’s probably why I love so much to work with this employee population and then enjoy observing the return on this investment in almost no time.

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