PLP Frequently Asked Questions
What Is PLP?
The Professional Leadership Program (PLP) is a mentoring, leadership, and soft-skills development program for students at the University of North Texas. The purpose of PLP is to give our students exposure to the leadership skills needed to be a servant leader in any industry or position they seek after college. Students are given the opportunity to network with the corporate community, attend weekly employability development programs, and engage in a yearlong mentoring relationship with industry professionals.
How Do You Recruit And Select Students?
We look for high-achieving students with prior leadership experience and those who demonstrate a coachable mentality. We do not recruit to a specific number, but rather a quality in our candidates. The 2019 - 2020 PLP class had 135 total program members, whereas the 2021 – 2022 has 60 total program members. The size of our program fluctuates each year.
Applicants come from all majors across campus. Recruitment runs from January to March of every year, with selection made in April for the following academic year. Prospective members must complete an online application, list two professional or UNT references, and answer self-assessment questions. After applications close in March, interviews are conducted.
What Are The Requirements To Apply?
Applicants for PLP need to be of junior, senior, or graduate status by the beginning of the PLP term (fall semester). In addition, applicants must have a 3.25 GPA. Written requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis for individuals wishing to apply who do not meet these listed requirements.
What Majors Do You Target For PLP?
PLP is open to all majors. As the flagship program of the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, business majors have historically made up 60-75% of the program participants, but priority is not given to business majors. The 2021-2022 PLP class is comprised of about 66% business and 34% nonbusiness majors, with 7 university colleges represented (G. Brint Ryan College of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of Health and Public Service, Frank W. and Sue Mayborn College of Journalism, College of Engineering, College of Science, and College of Information).
What Is The Profile Of The 2021-2022 PLP Class?
66% G. Brint Ryan College of Business students
49% Female / 51% Male
18% Graduate students
What Curriculum And Content Do You Deliver To PLP Students?
Each of our weekly meeting topics touch one or more of our 7 core competencies (Stewardship, Servant Leadership, Communication, Teamwork, Diversity & Inclusion, Problem Solving, and Ethical Practice).
During the course of the academic year, guest speakers present content on a wide array of topics such as Time & Attention Management, Global Awareness, How to Network, Design Thinking, Negotiating Skills, Personal Branding, Social Media, Organizational Culture, and more.
Who Delivers The Curriculum & Content?
Our weekly guest speakers are “Subject Matter Experts” from industry, higher education, and not-for-profit sectors across the DFW metroplex. Many have businesses that are national and international in scope, providing our students with an opportunity to learn both the theory and experiential sides of management and leadership.
What Type Of Practical Experience Does PLP Offer Its Participants?
PLP offers practice experiences in several ways, including an annual McKinsey & Company case study and “Business After Hours” networking events.
- Each fall semester, students are presented with a McKinsey case study. Working with a team of students from diverse majors, students analyze a situation and conduct evaluations of real business scenarios, culminating with a presentation of their findings to a panel of executives. Through this process, students learn to effectively collaborate and utilize critical thinking skills to solve real world business problems.
- At least twice per semester, students are given the opportunity to practice their networking skills. Typically hosted at various locations throughout the metroplex, students mingle with PLP mentors, corporate partners, and business executives, learning how to present themselves professionally, leverage their experiences, and exchange business cards.
- Each spring semester, students compete in the PLP Pitch Competition, which focuses on improving their ability to prepare a short, persuasive public presentation within a short timeframe.
- PLP offers other hands-on development opportunities for its members throughout the year, such as Learn & Learns sponsored by corporate partners, Round Table Discussions led by industry professionals, and more.
Where Are Your Classes And Events Held?
Classes are held every Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the UNT campus. Events vary and are held both on-campus and throughout the DFW metroplex.
Do You Support Or Foster Community Service Projects?
Servant Leadership is a strong driving principle of the Professional Leadership Program. As such, community service and volunteer projects are very important for the development of our participants. Students are required to complete at least 2 hours of community service in the fall semester through PLP-sponsored service opportunities.
How Long Has The Program Been In Existence?
PLP was started in 1994 by the Dean for the college (at the time), Clayton Singleton, who had a vision to shift the paradigm from a classroom-only learning experience for business students to one that is experiential-based and linked to developing skills and competencies that are essential in the marketplace.
In its current form, the PLP vision is to continually be recognized in the education and business sectors as an exceptional servant leadership development and mentoring program, serving as a model for partnerships between the university, students, community, and businesses.
How Do You Recruit And Select Mentors?
Mentors for PLP are volunteers and are recruited from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors across the DFW metroplex. This results in a diverse mix of companies and industries providing a wide range of experiences. The recruitment effort is led by the PLP Staff in collaboration with the Board of Directors, UNT faculty and staff, current mentors, and PLP Alumni.
Mentor recruitment is ongoing throughout the year, but applications typically open in the spring and close in early-to-mid summer. Prospective mentors complete an online mentoring profile and may be requested to hold an introductory screening call with PLP staff. After PLP student members are selected, mentors are matched with their student on the basis of career interests/experience, location, and other key factors.
How Long Is The Mentor Assignment?
Each mentor/mentee match is assigned for one academic year (August to May). We ask that our mentors commit to meeting in-person or video call with their students at least once every month with phone calls and email communication in between meetings. Mentors are also invited to attend certain PLP events with their mentee, such as the Fall Kick-Off and various networking events throughout the year. We also encourage students to stay connected with their mentors even after their term with PLP has ended.
Are There Opportunities For Corporate Partnerships?
Absolutely! Companies can get involved in a variety of ways, including mentoring, providing representatives as guest speakers, sponsoring a “Business After Hours” networking event or other industry field trip, hosting a Lunch & Learn on the UNT campus, providing gift-in-kind donations for program activities, or through providing one-time or recurring financial support for programmatic expenses or for student scholarships.
How Is The Program Funded?
Funding for PLP comes from two sources: 1) State funding for staff salaries and expenses and 2) Donations from external entities. Donations include financial gifts and in-kind donations that provide for expenses related to program activities such as business networking events, select industry field trips, and a student recognition banquet at the end of the academic year.