Great Lakes Essay Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 Find the answers to the frequently asked questions about the application process, the cost of the program, specific program questions, and the Great Lakes Leadership Program in general. 


Q: How do I apply?

Applications are accepted online on the application page.

Q:Can I start the application one day and finish it another, or must the application be completed all at once?

If you are not able to complete the entire application at one time, you may return to the online form and continue populating an existing application. You will need your login ID and password to access your application. These are emailed to you after the first time you save your online application.

Q: Will I be able to change, modify, and/or alter my application as needed before I officially submit it?

If you wish to add information or make changes prior to the application deadline you can do so by editing an existing application. You will need your login ID and password to access your application. These are emailed to you after the first time you save your online application.

Q: How will I know my application has been officially received by GLLA?

Once you have completed all the required information and submitted your application, the system will automatically send you a confirmation email.

Q: Is there an application fee?

There is no fee for applying to the program.

Q: What is the application and selection process?

Applications are reviewed and individual interviews are scheduled with invited candidates. Participants are then approved by the GLLA Board of Governors. Due to the limited participant capacity and the need for a diverse composition of participants in any given group, not all qualified candidates are chosen. Individuals are strongly encouraged to re-apply in subsequent years.

Q: What is the application deadline?

We are accepting applications for the 2018 Emerging Leader Program  through January 1, 2018. Applications for the 2018-19 Leadership Advancement Program are due by November 15, 2017. For more information about application deadlines, please contact Christy Roman at 517-353-6472 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Q: What questions will I need to answer as part of the application?

The application requires that you provide school and degree/certificate information, employment history, current leadership roles, and contact information for three references. There are also short answer/essay questions related to your leadership experience.  

Q: Who is accepted into the program?

Great Lakes Leadership Academy candidates are required to demonstrate leadership ability and a commitment to lead in their community of interest. Participants will reflect the diversity of the state including geographical, professional, gender and ethnicity, which greatly enrich the growth and development of the group as a whole.

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Q: Is there a tuition or cost for participating in the program?

Emerging Leader Program: Tuition is $3,500, which includes materials, meals and lodging.

Leadership Advancement Program: Tuition is $5,000, which includes materials, meals and lodging.

Participants will be required to cover their own transportation to and from the meeting sites.

For many, a sponsoring organization may be willing to assist with all or a portion of this amount. Limited scholarships are also available from the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, based on need and availability of scholarship funds.

Q: Do employers help pay for the cost of the program?

For some participants, their employers do assist with all or a portion of the tuition cost.

Q: What opportunities are there for financial aid?

Participants are encouraged to seek scholarships from pertinent organizations and communities. Scholarships are also available from the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, based on need and availability of scholarship funds.

Q: Who pays the expenses above tuition?

Organizations and individuals contribute financial support toward the operation of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy. Click here for a full list of program sponsors.   

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Program Specifics

Q: What is the difference between the Emerging Leader Program and the Leadership Advancement Program?

The Emerging Leader Program is delivered over a seven-month period, focusing on developing individual and organizational leadership skills, and applying those skills in a collaborative fashion to the common issues of diverse communities.

The Leadership Advancement Program consists of 12 sessions – 40 days within 18 months – with additional time committed to complete individual application and group assignments. The program is designed for individuals who are interested in leading for the common good.

Q: How much time do participants need to commit?

Emerging Leader Program consists of three 4-day sessions.You should plan an additional one day per month to complete individual assignments and group projects.

Leadership Advancement Program takes place in 12 sessions (40 days within 18 months). In addition, participants will work on projects and homework outside of the sessions. You should plan an additional one day per month to complete individual assignments and group projects.

Q: How many people are selected each year to be a part of the program?

There are 24 participants in the Emerging Leader Program and 24 participants in the Leadership Advancement Program.

Q: What are the requirements to participate in the program?

An applicant must be fully committed to be involved and participate in all of the sessions and must demonstrate the ability to be away from their place of work for the necessary amounts of time. Applicants must demonstrate a willingness to complete all assignments and fully engage in group projects and sessions.

Q: What are the dates for the program?

Refer to the Emerging Leader Program and the Leadership Advancement Program calendars for the specific dates.

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Q: What is the purpose of the GLLA Program?

Although a number of leadership development programs exists in the state, the consensus of the planning team was these programs were focused on training leaders to advocate for special interest and had little or no association with sustainability issues important to all sectors. The team concluded there was a critical need for leadership development that would focus on the issues and challenges associated with helping leaders from diverse constituencies transcend self-interest and create workable solutions for the common good.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about the programs and/or application?

Contact the Great Lakes Leadership Academy office at 517-353-6472 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Q: What is the return on investment for employers?

Leadership development is often cited as a critical success factor for any organization, especially during demanding times. Equipping people with the skills necessary to tackle today’s evolving challenges will help lead organizations through these difficult times. The Great Lakes Leadership Academy is a powerful Michigan program that equips participants with skills that promote positive change and yield tangible results. 

Employers will see leaders who can deal with stakeholders and clients positively and progressively.  They will have confidence their employee can communicate the mission of the organization, and represent the organization in collaborating circles.  They can expect to see increased confidence and strength in their employee’s leadership abilities.  A greater understanding of Michigan as a whole and the issues related to economic and environmental vitality will be gained as well.

 Q: What is the return on investment for participants?

Participants gain practical experience in:

  • Self awareness and confidence
  • Consenus building among diverse stakeholders and positive relationship building skills
  • Recongnizng the need to be inclusive around contentious issues along with tools for engaging others in the decision making process
  • Individual leadership style assessment

  • Understanding and appreciating personal differences and leadership ethics

  • Personal and group reflection on topics such as conflict resolution, systems thinking, authentic dialog and consensus decision-making

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Great Lakes has introduced an Essay section in the application form this year. Here are a few things to know, before submitting your applications :

What the essays are for?

The Essays are meant to provide you an opportunity to help us understand you better and how you will fit in to the Great Lakes community. This is a chance for you to bring out your uniqueness. A chance to tell your story, highlight your experience, achievements, goals, aspirations and motivations behind wanting to pursue an MBA. A well written essay achieves the following objectives:

  • Allows the admissions committee to gain insights into you that aren't revealed in your test scores, transcripts or letters of recommendation.
  • Persuades the admissions committee that you are the right fit for our PGPM class.
  • It gives you a chance to show your uniqueness and individuality

Essay 1: Why should you be part of PGPM Class of 2019 and how do you think you can enrich the experience of the Great Lakes Community?

The first essay is compulsory and delves into what you would bring to the Class as an individual. We receive large number of applications from promising candidates every year and while selecting the candidates, it is important for us to understand how you will add value to the class and enrich the experience of your peers. Things you can focus on while framing the answer to this question are:

  • Your motivation for getting in to Great Lakes and how you expect to leverage business school.
  • Highlight personal attributes which you think are an asset to you, and to the class in the future.
  • The challenges that you faced, the initiatives that you took and the impact you have had professionally at work or in a community
  • What initiatives you would want to take once you are part of the PGPM Class and how you will add to the overall experience.
  • Support your claims with real life examples - this gives context and adds to the credibility.

Please ensure that you stay authentic and true. What is more important to us is your self-awareness and motivation and not just the quantum of your achievements.

Essay 2: Is there anything else about you that is not covered in the application that you would like to share with us?

While optional, this question gives you a chance to talk about things you would like the admissions committee to know about you and not captured in the rest of the form. Please avoid repeating information already shared in other parts of the application. This essay may focus on the following:

  • Talk about any unique life experiences that shaped you as an individual
  • Significant achievements in any sphere which you feel are important to explain
  • Any unusual choices made in personal or professional life.
  • Challenging situations that you faced which will give us insights into your background and character.
  • Any explanation for unusual gaps in academics, employment or poor scores.

Things to Remember:

  • Before you start writing your essays, take some time to think about your story and your personal brand. Think about the aspects of your professional and personal life you want the admissions team to know about.
  • Ensure that the story you tell in the essay complements the information you provide in the application form.
  • Once the draft is ready, show it to people who you think know you the best and seek feedback on whether this does justice in communicating who you are as an individual.
  • Do a thorough spell and grammar check before submitting your application. Poor spellings and grammar reflect carelessness which is not acceptable.
  • Last but definitely not the least, remember to be true to yourself in the essays. Don't say things you cannot convincingly demonstrate during the interviews.

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