| AT&T | Leadership Development Program


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AT&T - Leadership Development Program

  • ICT
  • Business Services
Functional area
  • Finance & Accounting
  • General Management
  • HR / Organization
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Operations
  • Supply Chain Management
Duration 2 year
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • North America
Location Primarily in the United States
Language requirements English (Fluent)
Mentorship program Yes
Preferred study background No preference - all degree disciplines
Recruitment process
  • Online application
  • Face-to-face interview
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Required skills

Leadership 9
Team working 7
Problem solving 7
Communication 7
Creativity 6
Commercial Awareness 6
Pressure Resistance 6
Flexibility 6
Networking 6


The Leadership Development Program (LDP) is a two-year rotational program for recent bachelor and MBA graduates with outstanding leadership potential. Established in 1988, LDP is AT&T's flagship leadership development program. The goal of the program is to develop competitive leaders with the skills and experience to perform well in various positions and organizations across the company.

Participants are placed in three diverse work assignments over 24 - 28 months. Rewards include career development, exposure to key areas within AT&T, frequent developmental feedback and accelerated career growth for successful participants. LDP participants are "high potential" recent college graduates who have demonstrated leadership and academic excellence. Each LDP class represents diverse educational backgrounds including graduate level degrees with majors in business and related disciplines. Target candidates include those with business acumen (through work experience or education) and the desire and aptitude to lead large teams. Mobility is a requirement. Recruiters will also visit various campus events throughout the school year.

Program Structure
The program is designed to develop general management skills that apply across several organizations, rather than focusing on subject matter expertise in a specific function. Core components include:

  • Three rotations over the course of 24 - 28 months, including two supervisory roles (typically in a union environment)
  • Emphasis on technical and customer service operations (regional and national organizations)
  • Positions across the enterprise (Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Francisco Bay Area, and the Bedminster, New Jersey, Area)
  • The initial assignment is supervisory and 12 months in length. This assignment is the longest since new managers need time to become oriented to the company and attend initial leadership training. Subsequent assignments include 10 months in a supervisory role and six months in a contributor role. The purpose of the individual contributor role is to provide exposure to strategy and leadership at an enterprise level.

In the supervisory rotations, participants are placed in leadership positions in customer service and technical work environments. These functional areas are essential and provide the knowledge and skills designed to promote long-term career growth. Participants enhance their interpersonal skills and demonstrate their ability to unify a team and accomplish results through others.

The individual contributor role, which is generally a non-supervisory assignment, can be in many different organizations including marketing, sales and finance to name just a few. Due to its shorter duration, this role is designed to broaden the participant's global perspective and provide unique insights into corporate strategy and decision making.

LDP Supervisor Selection: Each job assignment is carefully selected according to the developmental needs of each participant. Supervisors provide early coaching, recognize areas of strength, and give timely feedback based on the individual developmental needs of each LDP participant. Supervisors serve as mentors and provide exposure to higher levels of management.

LDP assignments give participants the opportunity to take on important business challenges and demonstrate their abilities within a world-class telecommunications company.

Professional Development
The program offers many developmental resources, including skills and behavioral assessments, regular interaction with executives, workshops, and networking events. Other core components include:

  • Orientation — The LDP staff sponsors a formal orientation exclusively for new participants, which provides high-level exposure to business strategy and AT&T executives
  • Finance — Participants attend a competitive business simulation designed to sharpen financial acumen and enhance strategic thinking skills
  • Leadership — Participants attend a workshop designed to improve leadership effectiveness
  • Mentoring — Participants are matched to a Senior or Graduate LDP participant to serve as a peer mentor
  • Participants receive frequent performance feedback and career development planning resources. The goal is to provide a network of resources that can offer guidance and support throughout their career."

New participants are assigned a more experienced LDP participant to serve as their peer mentor. The goal is to provide incoming participants with a network of resources who can offer guidance and support throughout their career. Mentoring by business leaders is encouraged and often develops informally.

Communications is one of the fastest-growing industries today, and AT&T has kept pace. In this rapidly changing world, AT&T has become a global communications leader, offering its management/professional and occupational/non-management employees challenging and rewarding opportunities.

Realizing that talented, dedicated people are key to a company's success, AT&T employees receive a competitive benefits package that provides security, value and protection. AT&T's benefits are designed to help employees reach their career objectives and their personal goals. The company also supports its employees by contributing to the communities in which they live and work — providing financial support and promoting employee volunteerism.

Questions and answers

How does the recruiting process work?
Student interview candidates are selected from on-campus job fairs, evening information sessions and campus resume collections. The on-campus process consists of one 45-minute behavioral-based interview per candidate. All candidates will be immediately notified of their qualification status after the original interview. Those candidates who qualify are invited to participate in a second round of interviews either on campus or at corporate headquarters in San Antonio. The final step involves a third interview on site with a potential supervisor or LDP participant. This provides an opportunity for candidates to experience the work environment first hand and obtain a full understanding of the initial job assignment, if a job offer is extended.

How do I apply for the Leadership Development Program?
Candidates are recruited at over 16 universities each year during collegiate events. Or students may apply directly to the program by submitting an application for management positions on the new AT&T Web site.

Which AT&T company will I be interviewing with?
The Leadership Development Program (LDP) is a corporate-wide initiative. Candidates are recruited to participate in the program, not for placement in a specific position or business unit. Our objective is to develop high-potential generalist managers with experience in a wide array of core company operations.

Can I choose the specific AT&T company where I want to work?
The initial assignment is based on participant suitability as determined by the program manager. Participant feedback is a critical factor in the selection of the second and third assignments. Each student's geographic and business preferences are taken into consideration along with internal hiring needs and program requirements when assignments are made. However, there are no guarantees that students will be offered positions at preferred locations.

How many hours can I expect to work when participating in the Leadership Development Program?
The average participant works about 50 hours a week. Additional time commitments may be required depending on job assignments.

Can I do all three rotations within one functional area?
The objective of the LDP is to expose participants to different functions or business units. Programs do exist outside of LDP for those interested in specializing in functional areas. Applications are accepted for specialized management positions.

Does AT&T hire international students?
LDP accepts students who have permanent authorization to work in the United States, but does not currently sponsor international students. Other career opportunities within AT&T may exist for international students.

Will I be relocated while participating in the program? Are moving expenses reimbursed?
It is strongly advised that all LDP participants experience working in two different geographical regions within AT&T. Job assignment locations vary and final decisions are made based on the needs of the business and the developmental opportunity for each individual. If a move is required, AT&T does offer a robust relocation package that will cover the majority of moving expenses. Relocation is not a requirement to be a participant in LDP.

What type of career options can I look forward to upon completion of the Leadership Development Program?
The Leadership Development Program prepares graduates for positions with a significant level of responsibility and challenge. Graduates are advised to pursue line management roles where they will have the opportunity to manage large teams and further develop their supervisory skills. Line management experience is a critical success factor in reaching a senior manager position. LDP graduates have a progression rate twice that of a standard manager at AT&T.

What benefits does AT&T offer?
AT&T offers a comprehensive suite of benefits, including health, vision and dental insurance; a 401k savings plan; paid vacations and holidays; and more.

How will my performance be evaluated?
Participants are formally evaluated by their supervisor three times during their initial assignment, and twice during each of their following rotations - at the mid-point and at the end of each assignment. Participants are evaluated based on the fulfillment of job requirements as well as their leadership skills. Participants also receive feedback from the LDP staff and other mentors.

Will AT&T assist me if I want to earn an MBA, or pursue a higher-level degree? Do I need additional graduate degrees to succeed at AT&T?
Participants who successfully complete the Leadership Development Program are not required to earn additional advanced degrees or certifications to succeed at AT&T. Since the structure of the program requires participants to complete three diverse job assignments over the course of 24 - 28 months and mobility is a factor, participants are not encouraged to pursue advanced degrees while in the program. As a benefit option, AT&T offers a tuition aid program for all employees. AT&T is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive full and fair consideration for employment.

After the program

Graduation from LDP
Upon completion of the program, participants are assisted in securing a permanent full-time position within the company. LDP graduates continue to receive career development resources for the duration of their career with AT&T.


  • Graduate degrees (MBA, MS, MA) or undergraduate degrees emphasizing business, finance, or technical disciplines
  • Experience holding a minimum of two officer roles in extra-curricular organizations, and/or relevant work history that reflects experience in directly supervising others, delegating tasks, and resolving conflicts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • US citizen or permanent resident status
  • Geographic mobility