Norwich University | Alumni & Family



News from the NUAA - Spring 2015

A few years ago, Eric Curtis ’98 was invited to take part in a program at Babson College called Coaching for Leadership. The award-winning program pairs alumni with undergraduates for a one-day coaching session that helps the students build self-awareness and prepares them for real-world careers. The goal is to strengthen skills in six key leadership competency areas: listening, oral communication, teamwork, decision making, leadership, and ethics.

Eric immediately knew the Babson model would support Norwich’s Leader & Character Development Program as well as the Career Center’s offerings. He brought the concept to the NUAA Board, which quickly rallied behind the initiative. He then solicited interest from the School of Business & Management to engage students, and enlisted the help of the Alumni Office to promote alumni participation. With solid support from all parties, Norwich’s first Coaching for Leadership session took place on campus in March 2013 with 22 students and 22 alumni coaches. Many alumni coaches returned the second year, when 36 students and 48 alumni participated. The goal for 2015 is 75 students and 75 alumni, but with the growing interest, 125 alumni and 125 students may be within reach.

Eric says the program has proven beneficial to students and alumni alike. “Students benefit from constructive coaching early in their careers and gain insight on their leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, while alumni are excited to work with students and network with other alumni.”

Prior to the coaching session, volunteers complete an online training on how to take students through exercises dealing with problems businesses encounter, including ethical dilemmas. They also learn to listen and observe the students as they work through various case studies.

Students work in small groups and then meet one on one with their coaches to receive confidential feedback. Students do not receive grades, only real-world awareness, connection, and networking.

Norwich’s Leader & Character Development Program teaches students that great leadership takes practice. “The Coaching for Leadership program prepares students for leadership roles while they are still undergraduates, so that they can lead with confidence from day one in their future military and business environments,” Eric says.

Feedback from both students and alumni has been overwhelmingly positive, and everyone agrees that the greatest benefit is the connections that are forged. “Alumni eyes are opened to the caliber and maturity of Norwich students,” Eric says. “Many have developed relationships that last well beyond the day they spend together.”

For more information on the Coaching for Leadership program, contact the Alumni Office at 877-485-2019 or

Norwich Forever!

Yours in Service,
Heather Roszkowski ’00 & M’08