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Why a MBA / Leadership Development Program (vs. direct hire)?
The simple answer is that a solid Leadership Development Program will fast-track you into mid/senior management. You will be afforded facetime with key decision makers and you will have developed an ingrained network within your institution. Upon graduation it is up to you to leverage this network and knowledge into a fast-track career.

What are the key advantages / disadvantages of being on a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
Advantages:
Career fast-trak
Cross-functional experience
Wide internal network
Usually, international assignments

Disadvangates:
Pause in career. (You are effectively a high-end intern)
Intellectual and network capital cannot be leveraged outside institution
High investment of time
- Program scope can be changed without notice

How does the MBA / Leadership Development Program fit in your career goals?
Program helped shave 5 to 7 years in process of attaining mid-senior management and cemented my credentials for a regional financial career.

How strongly did you weight the location of the program?
Very much. The program is run out of CAF's historical headquarters in Caracas. There is a significant quality of life trade-off to consider.

What to look for in a MBA / Leadership Development Program?
You should look for a well structured program that has genuine committment from upper management. You are investing too much of your human capital to join a program that will not live up to your expectations.

Can you summarize the recruiting process you went through and how long it took?
- 2 Rounds of HR interviews
- 1 Two day assessment center
- 1 Psychometric test
- 2 behavioral interviews with two separate work-place psychologists
- Panel interview with Human Capital Steering Committee (C-suite executives)

Process took 4 months from first interview to signed offer.

What were the required skillsets and prior experience and how were they evaluated (behavioral interviews, case studies, assessment center, panel interview, etc)?
Intellectual capacity was assumed by hiring from target schools, but was also screened by HR at the initial stage. From then on the process was fully centered on evaluating emotional intelligence and motivation. Strong emphasis on resillience, team work and leadership. Two behavioral interviews, one assessment center and one panel interview

What advice and tips can you share with those interested in MBA Development Programs?
First you must do some soul-searching regarding your career goals. Make sure you understand what the two year committment implies for your career. Then make sure that the program is compatible with your expectations.