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8 Self-Reflections From Our Leadership Development Programs

Trace back the career paths of many our innovators and you'll find a common point of origin, but it isn't a school, skill set or area of expertise. Rather, it's one of the Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) at Johnson & Johnson.

LDPs are rotational programs that empower you with diverse experiences and open the doors to multiple career paths. Here's what they look and feel like from the inside.

"I'm Strengthening My Ability to Not Only Adapt to Change, But Embrace It"

Kelly Brown's path to the Foundational Human Resources Leadership Development Program (F–HRLDP) began with a lot of online research. She was interested in finding an employer that shared her values—and eventually decided Johnson & Johnson was a great fit. After reaching out to previous program participants, she recalled, "I felt confident that the F–HRLDP would develop me, both personally and professionally. And I have yet to be disappointed."

Like many other participants, she credits the diversity of experiences built into the program's rotational structure as one of its greatest assets. "I'm strengthening my ability to not only adapt to change, but embrace it," she said.

So far, Kelly's experience of the F–HRLDP has been a balance of challenges and rewards: She likens it to stepping outside of your comfort zone, while also feeling supported. “This program places you in rotations that push you. But because of the support of the entire HRLDP community, I've never felt isolated,” she explained.

"I've Found a Company That's Devoted to Patients—and to Doing Good"

Before joining the Experienced Commercial Leadership Development Program (ECLDP) at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Nicolette Strauss had amassed considerable expertise in public health. For one, she had worked on implementing and evaluating public health programs in the U.S. and around the world. She had also earned a master's degree in public health (as well as an MBA—both from Johns Hopkins).

But, Nicolette said, with the ECLDP she saw an exciting new opportunity: the chance to apply her expertise in the private sector by helping bring innovative treatments to the market that could potentially transform the lives of people around the world.

By connecting her passion with our purpose at Johnson & Johnson, the ECLDP felt like a match made in heaven for Nicolette. "It was really important to me to find a company that could positively impact people's lives and improve society," she added. "With Johnson & Johnson, I've found a company that's devoted to patients and to doing good."

"I Like to Stretch Myself Beyond My Comfort Zone"

Well before Manny Garcia applied to the Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP), he had a pretty clear idea of what he was getting into—after all, his resume included previous stints in both our internship and co-op programs.

In those roles, what stuck with him was "the caring and development-oriented culture at Johnson & Johnson, something that was really important to me coming out of college," he recalled.

In the future, he said, he has his eyes set on becoming both a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered management accountant (CMA), a certification that adds expertise in financial accounting and strategic management to the CPA's core skill set. And thanks to Johnson & Johnson's tuition reimbursement policy, which covers relevant continuing education, Manny's goals are now well within reach.

For the moment, he's just excited to be receiving the training and experience he needs to get there. "Since the FLDP is a rotational program," said Manny, "I'm exposed to many different areas of the business, which is great. I like to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone, and the FLDP provides me with many opportunities to do so."

"Having People Who Are Going Through the Experience With You Brings You All Closer Together"

Fresh out of the MBA program at Cornell, Meg Reddy knew her expertise could be translated into the field of medical device marketing. But she needed a more in-depth understanding of the entire ecosystem—that is, in her words,"both upstream product development and downstream sales execution." So when she found out about the rotational structure of the Medical Devices Marketing Leadership Development Program (MLDP), it was particularly appealing.

"I'm confident I'll have a much more well-rounded skill set after having worked in three different roles during this program," she said.

But one thing she couldn't have foreseen were the friends she would make along the way. "The people have been so supportive and approachable," said Meg. "Having people who are going through the experience with you brings you all closer together. I really appreciate the friends I have made in the process."

"The First Question Is, 'What Are You Working On and How Can I Help You?'"

We asked Georgie Manera—like Meg, a participant in the MLDP—about her biggest takeaway so far. Her answer? "The level of talent, compassion and drive I've seen in each team I interact with is just incredible," she said. "The first question that other Johnson & Johnson employees ask me when I meet them is, 'What are you working on, and how can I help you?'"

Proof of that support came on Georgie's first day, when she learned she would contribute to the management of 16 global brand websites. "I knew right away that this was a place where I'd be given countless opportunities to drive the business, while also growing personally and professionally," she said.

"I Grew Up Hearing Stories About Our Credo"

For Megan Curham, a participant in the F-HRLDP, Johnson & Johnson has always felt like family: "Both of my parents worked here, so I grew up hearing stories about Our Credo, the wonderful culture of the company and the positive impact it makes in the lives of so many people," she said.

After graduating from Princeton in June 2018, she was certain she wanted to pursue a career in HR—she just wasn't sure where to start. So the rotational nature of the program, which exposes participants to multiple functional areas and different lines of business, seemed like the perfect fit.

So far, in her words, the experience has been "a dream come true." And she already feels like she has come a long way: Around this time last year, for instance, she was gearing up for the application process for the F-HRLDP; this year, she'll see the process from the other side.

"I hope to help with the recruitment process for next year's class of F-HRLDPs," she said. "Having gone through the process myself last year, I know that it's an exciting time, and I look forward to being on the other end of it this year."

"This Will Serve As a Strong Base As I Move Throughout My Career"

For Steven Derby, being part of the Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP) means gaining essential footing in order to advance his career. "At the end of the program, I want to have a high-level understanding of the way finance works," he said. "Being able to speak to every line of the financial statements with accuracy and knowledge is crucial for a long, successful career in the field."

Going forward, he's looking to build strong business connections across all of our business segments. "I've developed a network of mentors and managers, and I also have the built-in network of nearly 100 other FLDP participants. This will serve as a strong base as I move throughout my career."

Join Us Today

Ready to make a positive impact on the lives of people everywhere? Your journey will be accelerated by our LDPs at Johnson & Johnson. Learn more—and be sure to sign up for our Global Talent Hub, too. It's a great way to stay in touch, find out about daily life at Johnson & Johnson and receive updates about jobs that might interest you in the future.

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