GRA 8260 Personal Development Programme (2023/2024)

GRA 8260 Personal Development Programme (2023/2024)

Course code: 
GRA 8260
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Per-Magnus Thompson
Emilie Lapointe
Course name in Norwegian: 
Personal Development Programme (2023/2024)
Product category: 
EMBA Business Administration - Core Courses
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
Three semesters

Personal development refers to the process of improving oneself. Continuously developing oneself is essential for enhanced productivity and well-being. This course aims, as part of the EMBA programme and in addition to academic courses, to support students’ personal development, and help them attain their leadership development goals and their career development goals.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

By the end of the course the students will have a better knowledge of:

  • The processes of personal development, including leadership development and career development
  • The tools used in personal development, including:
    • Personality testing
    • 360 degree feedback
  • The impact they have on others (i.e., how others perceive them) and how this impact affects others’ perceptions of, and attitudes and behaviors towards them.
  • The contextual factors that influence personal development, including:

Academic and industry background, previous work experience and previous leadership experience, career stage and career trajectories, to name a few.

Learning outcomes - Skills

By the end of the course the students should be able to:

  • Acknowledge their personal strengths and personal development needs
  • Identify and tailor strategies to support their personal development
  • Implement strategies to support their personal development

By the end of the course, students should also have developed specific skills that support their personal development, which, depending on their development needs, may include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management skills
  • Stress management skills
  • Networking and relationship building skills
  • Strategic thinking skills

Critical thinking skills

General Competence

By the end of the course, the students should be able to critically reflect on their personal development journey, and on how to continue to pursue it in the future.

Course content

Students will first be invited to reflect on what they want to learn or improve in relation to personal development. Personal development includes leadership development (i.e., how students can learn about, or improve certain leadership skills) and career development (i.e., how students can learn about specific career topics or can improve themselves to move in the desired direction with in their career).

Following this initial reflection, students will be invited to actively take part in activities aimed at fostering personal development, including individual sessions, group activities, personality testing and the use of structured feedback tools. As part of these activities, students will also be invited to identify specific personal developmental goals and work on these goals with a mentor. The main activities, which span the duration of the EMBA programme, are described below.

  • Group workshops. In module 1, the first workshop will prepare the students for the first EMBA group work. Through exercises and activities, students will be given the opportunity to voice their individual needs to the rest of the group and get a deeper understanding of what other group members need in order to contribute optimally to the forthcoming group assignment. In module 3, a second workshop will allow the same groups to reflect thoroughly upon different aspects of the first group work that now has come to an end. Finally, in module 6, the last workshop will focus on each student’s own EMBA journey, and in particular their personal development process, before preparing for the road ahead.
  • Career development workshops. During the EMBA program (i.e., between module 1 and module 6), student will also take part in in a series of workshops, which will address career-related topics relevant to career development (e.g., international careers, networking abilities and strategies, career paths, etc.). The purpose of these workshops is to provide students with career tools and advice, and give them the opportunity to exchange with others on relevant career-related topics, to support their career development journey.
  • Personality testing and 360 degree feedback. In order to increase students’ ability to understand how their personal attributes and inter-personal style influences their work achievements, their career, and their leadership style, they will go through an extensive personality testing. Furthermore, data will be gathered from current and/or former work colleagues applying the 360 degree format. 
  • In-depth analysis of personality profile and 360 report. Students will also be given the opportunity to have an individual 90-minute session with a faculty specialized in personality testing, where will they get an in-depth analysis of their personality profile and the 360 degree feedback report. The aim of this session is to identify specific developmental goals (i.e,, leadership development goals or career development goals) for the further process with the mentor.
  • Working with a mentor. All students are encouraged to engage, as a mentee, in a mentoring relationship with a mentor whose experience and expertise is relevant to the student’s development goals. Matching mentees with mentors will happen after module 3, and for the remaining 7-8 months of the EMBA program, mentees and mentors organize themselves when, how and how often they will meet. Mentors are BI EMBA alumni students that are motivated to take on the role as a mentor and that have been found suitable for this role.
  • Peer-feedback. In addition to the extensive 360 degree feedback procedure, all group works will be evaluated in a structured way, so that students get a anonymous peer-feedback report indicating how the other group members experienced working with them. The purpose of giving students continuous and extensive feedback throughout the EMBA program is to increase students’ self-awareness and help them understand both how they contribute to groups and what might cause inter-personal challenges.
Teaching and learning activities

The course is conducted through a total of approximately 40 hours of workshops, individual sessions and related activities.

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Granted admission to the EMBA programme. Please consult our student regulations.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Type of Assessment: 
Total weight: 
Student workload
Seminar groups
10 Hour(s)
3 group workshops
Seminar groups
10 Hour(s)
4 career development workshops
Feedback activities and counselling
3,5 Hour(s)
Personality testing and 360, In-depth analysis of personality test and 360 report.
Feedback activities and counselling
13,5 Hour(s)
Working with a mentor
Feedback activities and counselling
3 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

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