Women’s Intensive Leadership Development Program Hiking Excursions | NYU Langone Health

Skip to Main Content
Women’s Intensive Leadership Development Program Women’s Intensive Leadership Development Program Hiking Excursions

Women’s Intensive Leadership Development Program Hiking Excursions

The Women’s Intensive Leadership Development Program, also called the WILD Program, offers wilderness hikes for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and other NYU schools and colleges to develop leadership and team-building skills.

Each year, early career women scientists who participate in the WILD Program form teams and choose one of three different hiking excursions on the Northville Placid Trail, a 143-mile foot trail in Adirondack Park in northern New York state.

VIDEO: Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at NYU Grossman School of Medicine participate in wilderness hikes to develop leadership and team-building skills.

The trail can be exacting, challenging, and at times a little painful. The experience of hiking long distances for an extended period, and the crucial dependence on team members provides the perfect opportunity for fellows to get hands on experience to develop leadership and conflict-management skills.

Although hiking is not always comfortable, the WILD Program fosters a culture where a sense of humor is encouraged, listening and compromise are essential, and trust, reliability, and directness are paramount. Our fellows are taught to overcome divisive communication and learn specific strategies to confront and work through interpersonal problems that arise.

Skills and personal growth learned on the trail have long lasting effects on your ability to lead at both the bench and bedside and result in better conflict management in your day-to-day lives.

The WILD program has extended beyond the original trail to include two new peer-led, hiking excursions that share the same mission—a beginners version called WILD Lite and a version called Training Resilient and Inclusive Leaders, also known as TRAIL, which is open to men and led by WILD Program alumni.

WILD Excursions

Participants who choose the WILD take part in two leadership training weekend retreats, monthly leadership meetings, and conditioning exercises that include urban hikes and team fitness meetups. You also complete three daytime hikes and three overnight hikes between March and August. In the fall, you complete your final hike, which consists of 143 miles on the Northville–Placid Trail over a 10-day period.

WILD Lite Excursions

WILD Lite is considered a beginner’s version of WILD, with a shorter program duration and a shorter final hike. WILD Lite hikes are led by participants from previous WILD teams.

Participants in WILD Lite take part in the same leadership training and conditioning regimens, but complete three daytime hikes and two overnight hikes between March and July. Instead of hiking the full Northville–Placid Trail, you complete a 40-mile segment over a 4-day period.

TRAIL Excursions

Training Resilient and Inclusive Leaders, also called TRAIL, features a shorter program duration and a shorter final hike than the full trail and is open to men. TRAIL hikes are led by participants from previous WILD teams.

Participants in TRAIL take part in the same leadership training and conditioning regimens, but complete three daytime hikes and one overnight hike between March and July. Instead of hiking the full Northville–Placid Trail, you complete a 50-mile segment over a 4-day period.