Experiential Learning Experience

Leaders learn on the edge of their experience.

Like a laboratory, E-Lead gives students a place to experiment, reflect, practice and grow in a supportive environment.

The Excellence in Leadership (E-Lead) Program's experiential learning approach helps our students apply what they're learning to their personal and professional goals while cultivating a bigger sense of purpose and how they can contribute to the larger community.

The following elements define our distinct, award-winning program experience.

  • Invest in You
  • Interdisciplinary Learning Community
  • Faculty and Staff Mentoring
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Innovation Leadership Focused Curriculum

Powerful Investment in Personal, Academic and Professional Life

At Marquette, we challenge students to Be The Difference. One of the questions students answer during their time in the program is, “How can I go out and respond to the call to Be The Difference?”

Embedded in the E-Lead curriculum is the opportunity for profound growth. Students learn how they can start to make a meaningful difference in their personal, academic, and professional life. E-Lead gives students the dedicated time to reflect on who they are, who they aspire to be, and how they can close the gap with concrete tools and a strong support system to lean on along the way. E-Lead is not something you do solely for your resume or a job title; E-Lead is first and foremost something you do to invest in yourself

"E-Lead is the single best investment you can make in yourself during your time at Marquette.”

- Chuck Swoboda, Marquette Innovator-in-Residence, Retired Chairman & CEO, Cree, Inc.

High Caliber Interdisciplinary Learning Community

As an interdisciplinary program, E-Lead reaches across the entire Marquette community. E-Leaders progress through the program as a cohort of learners from a diversity of educational backgrounds and perspectives. With our cohort-based learning model, students build long-lasting relationships characterized by authentic conversations, growth and self-discovery. Students find themselves among a community of leaders who are eager, curious, openminded, driven, and ready to make their lives happen. Graduates leave with an incredible network of leaders who are passionate about making the world a better place.

Mentoring Relationships with Faculty and Staff

A special part of the E-Lead Program is the relationships students build with the faculty and staff. Students not only get to know the E-Lead team over the course of their three years in the program, but the students stay in touch as they move through major life milestones: discerning their next career move, navigating professional challenges and opportunities, and even getting married.

Grow Your Professional Network

A major component of the E-Lead Program is exposure to and interaction with working professionals from various industries. Through shadowing leaders and hands-on professional experiences, students gain access to professional mentors and network opportunities.


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Innovation Leadership Courses

E-Lead students develop their leadership values, beliefs, knowledge, skills and behaviors through the classroom and experiential learning opportunities listed below. To accommodate as many class schedules as possible, E-Lead courses are typically held on Friday afternoons.

Seminar Courses

  • Foundations of Leadership and Individual Development (2 cr.)
  • Leading With Others (2 cr.)
  • Leading Innovation (2 cr.)

Experiential Courses

  • Professional Leadership Experience (1 cr.)
  • Explorations in Innovation Leadership Practice (2 cr.)
  • E-Lead Capstone (3 cr.)

Skill Building Workshops

Students in the E-Lead program participate in highly interactive, engaging and energizing workshops each year. These workshops, typically delivered to corporate audiences, offer students the chance to develop specific mindsets and skillsets that will help them lead more effectively and stand out to employers.

Year 1: Building resiliency

Interactive workshop focused on tools to become more resilient, innovative, and perform under demanding circumstances

Year 2: Having difficult conversations

Interactive workshop focused on how to be authentic, present, and honest in day-to-day conversations to enrich relationships, increase engagement, and improve performance.

Year 3: Fostering innovation through leadership

Interactive workshop focused on leadership mindsets and design thinking practices that drive innovation.

Immersive Leadership Development Retreat

The power of the E-Lead program comes through the community that is developed, and it starts in the very first week at the Institute™, a four-day immersive leadership retreat offered in partnership with LeaderShape, Inc. The Institute™ challenges participants to lead with integrity while working toward a vision grounded in their deepest values. In addition to having the opportunity to develop leadership skills, participants praise The Institute™ as a time of great introspection.

The program content of The Institute™ reflects key leadership concepts of vision, partnerships, integrity and results. Students grow in their confidence and identity as leaders and begin to make a tremendous impact on the Marquette and surrounding community. Additionally, as a result of participating in The Institute™, students develop meaningful relationships with one another and continue to deepen over the course of the next three years in the E-Lead Program.

Leader Shadow Experience

The Leader Shadow Experience is an integral component of the E-Lead program. During GEEN 3959: Explorations in Innovation Leadership Practice, students shadow two different influential leaders at two different companies. By spending "a day in the life" with two industry leaders, students observe different leadership styles, learn various approaches and practices to leadership and enhance their capacity and efficacy as leaders. The Leader Shadow Experience aims to help E-Lead students:

  • Observe the leadership styles and practices of industry leaders.
  • Gain insight into the career paths and leadership journeys of industry leaders
  • Learn about the organization’s culture, strategy, values, and structure

Industry co-op, internship, research, clinical or other professional experience

Many college students choose to have a professional leadership experience. E-Lead requires it so that in addition to the exposure in the workplace, students can see firsthand the leadership concepts we explore in E-Lead classes. Whether it is an internship, a co-op, a clinical, student teaching, or research, we work with you to connect your opportunities with the curriculum. Upon completion of the experience, students enroll in GEEN 3990: Professional Leadership Practice, a one-credit experiential leadership course. The purpose of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their professional experience and integrate lessons learned into their future leadership and innovation practice.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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I'd love to apply to E-Lead, but I have existing co-op, internship, or study abroad plans. How flexible is the program?

The E-Lead curriculum has been designed with a lot of flexibility, particularly in the second year of the program. In most cases, we can work with your existing commitments, such as co-ops, internships, and study abroad. In fact, you can use co-ops, internships, and clinical experiences to satisfy E-Lead's professional experience requirement. If you have any concerns about how E-Lead can fit into your academic plan, please reach out to us to discuss your situation.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:  

Kate Trevey, Director of Engineering and Innovation Leadership Development 

Andrea Minkley, Associate Director of Engineering and Innovation Leadership Development 

Jennifer Benjamin, Associate Director of Engineering and Innovation Leadership Development