Insightful Q&A with Gwyneth Dobson & Karen Siewert of Cornell University, ILR School


With our September 2017 start date fast approching, we connected for an insightful Q&A with Gwyneth Dobson, Director, Executive Education-Human Capital Development and Karen Siewert, Executive Education; both of whom represent Cornell University, ILR School.


Who will benefit most from the AESC Cornell Advanced Certificate in Executive Search and Leadership Consulting and what will they take away from the program?

The AESC-Cornell program is unique in the way that it explores the expectations and evolving challenges faced by top executive search and leadership consultants. Developed in partnership between AESC and Cornell University’s ILR School, it blends leading-edge research with best practice industry perspective. Participants will be challenged to apply their learning throughout the program, and will be given proven tools and frameworks to incorporate in their daily practice. They will also have an opportunity to learn from each other through project work and class discussion. Experienced consultants with 10+ years of combined search and industry experience who have a desire to improve their approach to talent search and hiring practices and expand their global network of search and leadership consultants should apply.  

Why should any senior executive search or leadership consultant enroll in the program?  

Participants in the program are carefully selected to ensure a global cohort and experience level that will allow for close collaboration with Cornell faculty and executive search peers in the program. Engagement connects the participants to a learning community through which they can explore key recruitment issues, gain insights, test ideas and apply thinking to better understand and stay current with the changing nature of human capital, developing trends and the impact on client hiring and leadership development expectations.

What was the online learning experience like for the 2016 participants?

This six month program includes a blend of live virtual sessions, self-study, discussion forums and project work. The sessions with Cornell Faculty are both engaging and challenging. Small cohort sizes allow for topics and discussions to be tailored to the needs of the group and explored in depth. Ongoing discussions and project work outside the classroom allow you to reflect, test and practice what you are learning in real-time. Participants have given us extremely positive feedback on both the faculty expertise, and the ability to learn from a select set of peers from around the globe. 

Can you tell us about the Cornell faculty and the interaction with participants?

Cornell’s ILR School offers the most comprehensive portfolio of workplace-related professional and academic programs. Our offerings are designed for pragmatic, real-world application. Cornell faculty are passionate about their work and integrate into their program presentations the insight of leading scholars, researchers, and practitioners. The faculty in the AESC-Cornell program are selected based on the relevance of their expertise to the challenges facing search and leadership consultants.

What are some of the sessions covered in the program and what are some of the learning outcomes?

The curriculum for this program evolves each year to stay current with the rapidly changing industry trends and the expectations for search and leadership consultants. Sessions include those listed here on this site, including learning objectives.

What has been the feedback from prior participants? What features of the program have participants valued most?

We consistently heard that the session content provided participants deep understanding of organizational needs relative to placing executive leaders, and, as such, prepared them to act as trusted, value-adding advisors to clients. Regarding the program design, participants appreciated the expertise of the faculty and the interactive nature of the sessions, as it allowed for rich class discussion and the opportunity to learn from each other. 

Learn more about the Advanced Certificate in Executive Search and Leadership Consulting