Thank you for another great event. I have been to this event for several years and never leave disappointed. It is always great to take time to learn and network with others.

Connie Gonzalez, Horizon Therapeutics

This community’s passion for developing early career talent is palpable; we left energized to tackle our work with new ideas and a fresh perspective, and were happy to share some of our learnings along the way.

Delaney Buenzli, Abbvie

LDP Connect is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.


The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.


May 8th & 9th, 2024


Pre-Conference Workshop: Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 (separate registration fee)

8:00 am

Hosted at

Pre-Conference Workshop: How to Build (or Re-Build) a Quality Early Talent Development Program

Offered again in 2024 due to popular request! Getting a program started on the right footing can make all the difference between success and trouble. With the LDP Connect maturity model as a backdrop, this full-day workshop will get you focused on the key foundational questions to setting up and running an impactful (and measurable) early talent development program. With an emphasis on clarifying your program’s goals, you’ll be guided through considering proper program structure, curriculum design, and community building among stakeholders. If you’re new to the world of early talent development programs, or if you’re looking to re-vamp an existing program that may need recalibration, don’t miss this workshop at Medtronic offices in Minneapolis. Facilitated by early talent development experts at Wronski Associates – a firm with 40 years of experience building and running early talent programs.

Main Conference Day 1: Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

7:45 am

Breakfast & Networking

8:15 am

Welcome & Introductions

8:30 am

Opening Keynote

Author, Entrepreneur, Tedx Speaker

Kuda Biza

Survival of the Flexiest: Thriving in the AI-Driven, Hybrid Work Jungle

Many of us in early talent management feel threatened by AI. Are program participants submitting work that is genuinely their own?  Can we trust what new applicants send us during the recruitment process?  Has corporate counsel put everyone on eggshells in fear of  intellectual property risks?  In these early days, sometimes it feels like AI is creating more problems than it solves.  But behind the concern there’s a tantalizing spark of possibility…. the allure of being able to customize at scale… the “what if” that seems to be lurking over the horizon.  For our opening Keynote address, LDP Connect welcomes Kuda Biza – Entrepreneur, Tedx Speaker, and Philanthropist – for an exploration of the possibilities for AI in supporting early talent development. Early talent pros operate amid constantly swirling circumstances and the complex interests of many constituents.  Could AI help us better discover and leverage the intersections?  Join us!

9:30 am

Networking Break

9:45 am Concurrent Session 1A

Manager, Global Learning and Development at Dell Technologies

Stephanie Silva

Consultant, Global Learning & Development Programs at Dell Technologies

Katie Hird

AI for Rotation Matching: The Journey so Far…

Rotation matching has always been one of the more “artful” aspects of running an early talent program.  Skills gaps are identified, developmental opportunities are assessed & personalities are considered. Then we roll the dice and hope we haven’t missed something. Many of us wonder if there is a better way – particularly if the match we make goes sour. Could we be using AI to help us better understand the variables and “see” deeper into the process? Join Dell early talent leaders Stephanie Silva – Manager, Global Learning and Development – and Katie Hird – Consultant, Global Learning & Development Programs – for a look at Dell’s recent efforts to incorporate AI into the rotation-matching process.  What have been the successes and challenges?  What should others be aware of before trying it themselves?

Concurrent Session 1B

Head of Finance Talent Strategy at CVS Health

Walter Gunter

Do you speak Finance? How to keep your investors invested in your program.

Leadership development teams often speak a different language than the finance leaders responsible for maintaining or expanding their funding.  When that gap isn’t bridged, the resulting misunderstanding of value can lead to the reduction or elimination of programs that are valuable to your organization’s bottom line.  How can you ensure that you consistently communicate your program’s value in the vernacular of finance – the language of investment?  Join Walter Gunter, Head of Finance Talent Strategy at CVS Aetna, and a Finance and HR polymath on a journey to translate and connect your talent development wins into the business results they drive. Tell your program’s story in a way that clearly defines its business impact and return on investment.

10:45 am

Networking Break

11:00 am

Concurrent Session 2A

Director of Talent Development, Millennium Physician Group

Jessica Lepine-Elfus

Manager, Talent Management at Cardinal Health

Michele Williams

Leading through the changing sands of early talent programs

If there is a constant theme to the lives of early talent program managers, it’s “change.” Whether moving participants to new rotations, adapting to the characteristics of the latest generation of hires, tweaking a curriculum, or adjusting to a new set of executive sponsors, sometimes it seems like more is in flux than in place. Inflection points in a program bring risk, but also opportunity.  If we have the courage and skill to manage big changes in our program, we can ensure its survival and success. If we can’t change effectively, we risk becoming obsolete.  The good news is that “change management” is a learnable skill.  In this interactive session, Jessica Lepine-Elfus, certified change management practitioner and former early talent development leader, and Michele Williams, certified change management practitioner and Manager of Talent Management at Cardinal Health will take us through leading successful change.  Using a real example such as a major, program transformation at Cardinal Health, Jessica and Michele will take you through the steps of smoothing transition and emerging stronger from disruption.

Concurrent Session 2B

Founder at McCool Leadership Development

Ryan McCool

Leading Through Crisis: A military perspective

One characteristic of exemplary leadership is the ability to keep composure when all seems to be falling apart. Leaders in our military prepare themselves to think clearly and act decisively in the face of chaotic circumstances. Although it’s hard to imagine anything happening in our programs that could genuinely be called a “crisis,” we might find ourselves in high-pressure situations where others look to us for leadership and resolve. Did a program participant make a high-profile mistake?  Did the program’s supportive executive team just leave the firm? Are your program evaluation metrics showing weak performance in a cost-cutting environment? Join Ryan McCool, former Marine officer and LDP participant for an exploration of effective leadership during crisis. Learn a “selfless leadership” approach that will help you navigate high-pressure situations with poise, and train your LDP’s to do the same.

12:00 pm


1:00 pm

Concurrent Session 3A

Facilitated Small Group Discussion
Senior Practitioners’ Meeting – Moving Forward Together
If you have oversight over multiple development programs at your organization, join your peers at this facilitated forum on big-picture strategic issues in early career development and programming. Participants will spend most of their time examining select topics in small groups and then briefly share conclusions/observations with the larger group. Topics will include early career talent management in the workforce of the future, proper program calibration and alignment with strategy, and other topics determined by participants in advance. The objective is to connect senior practitioners and generate useful strategic ideas.

1:00 pm

Concurrent Session 3B

Facilitated Small Group Discussion
Functional “Club” Roundtables
LDP Connect often get requests from our members for more opportunities to meet and speak with people managing programs similar to thier own. Functional “Club” Roundtables are the live equivalent of the virtual “Club” calls we’ve been holding since the Fall of 2021. Bring your questions and expertise to a group of your peers on running development programs like yours. Our best ideas, solutions and relationships come from these informal conversations.

2:15 pm

Networking Break

2:30 pm Concurrent Session 4A

Talent Development Team Lead at Trane Technologies

Miranda Eisermann

What is Your Persanal Brand? Can having one support your program?

Part of LDP Connect’s mission is to help community members with their own professional development. Happily, anything we learn about bettering ourselves is often practical in helping us develop talent in others. When was the last time you stepped out of your internal coaching role to examine your own personal brand? What do you value, what are you passionate about, what are your strengths, what do others appreciate about you, what do you want to be known for, and how would others describe you? Spend some time re-aligning your values with your career trajectory through the guidance of Miranda Eisermann, Talent Development Team Lead at Trane Technologies and architect of a successful personal brand development seminar for Trane Technologies employees. Leave the session more confident about communicating your own brand, and better equipped to promote the brand of your program and participants as well.

Concurrent Session 4B

Discovery Program - Group Supervisor at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Patrick Cox

Alumni Steering Committees: Accelerating Alumni using Low Program Bandwidth

Serving the ever-growing community of people who touch our programs in some way can get overwhelming – particularly with diminishing resources and with ever-increasing expectations. Our program alumni in particular seem to be getting increasingly more attention, and their population grows every year.  We want to support program alumni because their success is our program’s success; and we often need their direct support to make our programs operate smoothly. How do we engage alumni to increase their impact and influence in the organization without over-burdening our limited program resources? In this session, Patrick Cox, Group Supervisor of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab’s Discovery Program, will share his team’s approach to engaging alumni with very little bandwidth from program leadership. Learn how to create an effective alumni steering committee through an “organizational championing” model.  Discuss how providing light support and guidance to your alumni as they pursue their own objectives can bring rewards to your program.

3:30 pm

Networking Break

3:45 pm

Plenary Session
Senior Organizational Development Specialist at Pacific Life

Allen Morgan

Learning & Development Consultant at Wronski Associates

Beth Ivers

President, RJ Wronski Associates

Stephan Wronski

The Power of a Curriculum based on “Real Projects”: Fully integrating the business into your program’s learning journey

Could your program’s curriculum use a refresh – or maybe even a “do-over?” Maybe you’re finding that the business moves faster than your curriculum, or that frequent changes in stakeholders have disrupted the stability of your participants’ development plan – and perhaps even disrupted the program overall.  Making “real projects” the foundation of your program’s curriculum is an innovative way to tie your program to the business and can lead to deeper participant networks, stronger executive buy-in, higher program visibility, and ultimately more business impact and increased investment. In this session, Stephan Wronski, Beth Ivers of Wronski Associates will be joined by Allen Morgan of Pacific Life to share how they have designed Pacific Life’s ITLP curriculum around real-world problems sourced from within the business.  The strategic decision to base learning on real projects has been instrumental in allowing this relatively new program to take root and flourish, and to do so in an organization without much history with LDP’s nor with early career talent in general. It has also allowed the program to thrive amidst significant change in executive leadership and sponsorship.  Join this session to learn why this strategy was deployed, how it has been effectively implemented, the challenges overcome, the investment and timelines required and how you might do the same.

5:00 pm

Evening Reception

Main Conference, Day 2: Thursday, May 9th, 2024

8:00 am

Breakfast & Networking

8:30 am

Rapid Fire Session

Program Management Topics
A popular LDP Summit tradition. Participant volunteers share a best practice, learning or challenge with the audience in 7 minutes or less. A quick exchange of actionable ideas on program management to take home.

Rapid Fire Session

Recruiting Topics
A popular LDP Summit tradition. Participant volunteers share a best practice, learning or challenge with the audience in 7 minutes or less. A quick exchange of actionable ideas on recruiting to take home.

9:45 am

Networking Break

10:00 am
Concurrent Session 5A

Global Head, Internship Experience Program (SAP iXp) at SAP

Christine Archer, MSHRM

The “Bridge to Nowhere?” What if the business isn’t ready to absorb our graduates?

The core purpose of early career talent pipeline programs is to funnel capable and motivated employees into the business. But that’s an outcome with many competing variables that mostly fall outside of our direct control (particularly when the economy is soft). As businesses cut back, and hiring volumes drop, how can we seize creative ways to ensure that both the business and its early-in-career talents maximize their experience together – even when finding post-program roles is difficult? Join Christine Archer, Global Head of the SAP Internship Experience Program (SAP iXp), for a look at several initiatives she and her team employ to build and market the value of her early career talent – even when conversion options are low. Using the SAP iXp as a backdrop, session attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to create value in an early talent program, without losing sight of conversion as the ultimate goal. Learn how to take control where it’s possible, and how to build influence when it’s not.

Concurrent Session 5B

President - Americas at Cappfinity

Ilona Jurkiewicz

Industrial & Organizational Psychologist at Cappfinity

Ana Garcia

"We hired them, now what?" - The Skills Revolution in Early Talent Programs

Unlocking hidden potential in early career professionals, especially amongst those who have not had all the advantages, demands an effective mechanism for building self-awareness, advocacy, and inner confidence.  How can a focus on skills development improve outcomes for early talent programs? How can we better identify hidden skills in new recruits, prioritize them, showcase their abilities and accelerate their development? In this session, Ilona Jurkiewicz, President of Cappfinity – Americas; and Ana Garcia, Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, will take us deep into the architecture of a tech focused skills-based approach to early talent development, sharing insights captured from an array of client engagements. Leave the session with a better understanding of how a focus on skills can lead to better and highly effective and functioning teams, higher retention, and more optimism!

11:00 am

Networking Break

11:15 am Concurrent Session 6A

Director, Workforce Planning & Talent Management at enGen

Brittany Forbis

Fitting Early Talent Development into Overall Workforce Planning

If you sometimes feel like you’re planning your program’s future with a blindfold on, you’re not alone. Rarely do we hear of an early talent development leader having a seat at the workforce planning table.  In fact, we find that many companies don’t even have a workforce planning table at which to be seated!  Because most early talent programs have a mid-to long-term payoff horizon, some glimpse of the company’s intended talent future is important to answering basic questions like “how big should my program be?” and “how long should it take to complete it?” and “what should program graduates have learned to prepare for critical roles in the organization?” In this interactive session, Brittany Forbis, Director of Workforce Planning and Talent Management at enGen, will share her team’s recent experience in carving out early talent’s contribution to the company’s larger workforce plan.  How do you right size using data?  How do you fit your early talent programs into a larger talent development plan? Leave this session with a better understanding of how to integrate with talent planning, and how to find your own way if that planning is opaque!

Concurrent Session 6B

Senior Manager, Member Experience at Veris Insights

Jordan Blair-Paladino

Foundational Skills for Gen Z: Are your programs effectively bridging the gap?
Employers are not the only ones who have experienced a gap in Foundational Skills as Gen Z enters the workforce; We hear a similar sentiment from this generation’s students themselves. This self awareness has led students to seek opportunities to bridge the gap on their own, and created openings for employers to differentiate themselves by delivering on this critical desire. Leadership Development Programs possess an even larger capacity for this work than recruitment events, allowing you to sell students on the promise of improved competencies and stronger performance outcomes than a standard entry-level role. By building in collaboration with your key partners in the business, a focus on Foundational Skills can also serve your program in creating alignment and buy-in where it counts.  In this session, Veris Insights will educate participants about student interest in different Foundational Skills, the opportunities to apply this knowledge across both recruitment and L&D programming, and how students are evaluating their growth and success. 

12:15 pm


1:15 pm

Community Interactive Session

Topic Tables: "Idea Snack” discussions
The landscape of managing early talent pipeline programs has changed dramatically over the past twelve months. The best help we get is from each other. What is your most pressing challenge as you navigate the new environment? Where do you need ideas, guidance or validation from your peers? Choose from several “topic tables” for open group discussion in this interactive community session. Stay with the same group, or pop in and out of these moderated intimate chats. Leave with ideas and confidence.

2:15 pm

Closing Plenary
Director at LDP Connect

Dan Beaudry

Key Findings from the 2024 LDP Survey of Early Talent Program Practices

Every two years, the LDP Connect community participates in the LDP Survey – a unique study of practices related to the positioning, management and evaluation of early career talent development programs.  The 2024 data includes information collected from 169 development programs from 97 marquis employers across the country. In this session, we’ll explore what the data tell us.  What is a “good” post-program retention rate? What activities are correlated with “success?” How diverse is the typical program? What program inputs are correlated with program success metrics? And many other insights.  Join us!

3:15 pm

Close and Networking


2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis MN, 55407

Questions? Please contact [email protected]

The 2024 Reports are here!
Early Talent Program Data

Rention rates, NPS scores, Diversity metrics

Curiculum elements, Program structure & more!

From 165 early talent development programs

Across 97 organizations and 10 functional areas

Graduate Development Program Leaders' Summit

London, November 13, 2024



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