We’re so excited you’re interested in our program! However, we understand that’s not always enough to get the ball rolling.
That said, here is some information and advice we think you might find useful for convincing your supervisor or HR manager to sponsor your professional development.
Reinforce your commitment
First, we recommend starting with emphasizing your commitment to your organization, and that your interest in this executive education program is to further your skills that will benefit not only yourself, but also your company and its mission.
Choose your approach
Next, there are two different methods to consider:
Method 1: The personal growth approach
Start by describing specifically which skills the program will help you develop that you don’t already possess. Is the program going to help you transition into a leadership role? Is it going to make you a more effective leader in your current role? How so? If necessary, refer to your past performance assessment to identify gaps and goals that this program will help address.
As a starting point, you can emphasize that our Women in Technical Leadership program emphasizes skills in:
- Negotiation, conflict management and relationship building
- change management
- influencing others
- emotional intelligence
- leading organizational and personal change
- design thinking
Method 2: The organizational approach
Alternatively, you can focus on the goals of your entire team, or even the entire organization. What will these new skills do to help you further the key objectives of your team and / or company? Is there a particular project or initiative you think the program will help you spearhead and execute efficiently? You may even consider volunteering yourself for a project or activity you know is in the company’s pipeline that you wouldn’t have otherwise been equipped to do, such as leading a small workshop on a topic covered in your executive education program. (This further emphasizes the return on investment for your employer!)
Once you’ve implemented one or both of these methods, be prepared to answer follow-up questions from your supervisor, such as:
- Why is the format of this program a good fit?
- What are the credentials of the host organization?
- How do you envision being able to deliver a positive return on investment?
As backup, here are a few things to keep in your “arsenal” to help drive home that this is the right opportunity for you (and the right time!):
- “I’ve been thriving in my current position for a while now, and this is the perfect opportunity to prepare for what’s coming next.”
- “I want to learn from experienced leaders who can provide research-based methods and new ways of thinking.”
- “Yes, I’ll be missing work — but I’ll be learning how to benefit our team in ways that will far outweigh what I would have otherwise done for those few days.”
- “I’ll be exposing myself to new perspectives and ideas — both from the program instructors and the other participants.”
- “You’ll be helping to support the growth of women in fields that traditionally struggle with the recruitment and retention of female staff — especially in leadership roles.” (See data below.)
Finally, here is some helpful data to support your cause:
If you have any questions, please contact us! We’d love to help you make your case and support your efforts to further your professional development.Return to the program web page