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Leadership Development Rotation Program

Exposure. Opportunity. Exploration.

Do you consider yourself a leader? Are you interested in exploring many areas of business? Do you want to work for a company that encourages you to have a career, not just a job? Read on to learn about the unique opportunities available to you through the Leadership Development Rotational Program (LDP) with the Principal Financial Group®.

The program provides an exciting opportunity for a select group of three to five high-performing college graduates every year. It’s designed to introduce future leaders to all aspects of the company. You will gain exposure to different business areas through several rotations. Once you have completed the three-year program, we will work with you to determine your best fit at The Principal® and launch you into your career.

How it works

The three-year program includes cross-functional rotations, ranging from six to twelve months in length. Each rotation is designed to help you develop an understanding of the different business areas of The Principal, while providing you broad exposure and meaningful project work. Rotations include functional areas like:

  • Asset Accumulation/Asset Management
  • Audit and Risk
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Corporate Relations
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Project Management
  • Supplier Management

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Sample rotation

The rotational path of each participant is customized to develop strengths and stretch the individual’s skill sets, giving prime opportunities for growth and new experiences. The following is a real rotational path for a past program associate who majored in Finance, Management, Entrepreneurial Management, and General Business.

Business Area Rotation Title
SBD Group Distribution Training & Development Development Consultant
Fund Accounting – Principal Funds Financial Accounting Analyst
RIS Marketing – Principal Funds Marketing Strategist
Principal International – Hong Kong Analyst
Investor Relations Investor Relations Analyst

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Leadership development plan

Employee development is one of our five core values at The Principal. We will help you build a customized development plan including:

  • Mentoring from senior leaders
  • Networking with members of senior management
  • Representing the company at corporate community events like the Principal Charity Classic and the Principal Financial Dreams Tour
  • Participating in quarterly earnings call debriefs with senior management
  • Interacting with analysts and investors when they visit The Principal corporate campus in Des Moines
  • Completing personal assessment of leadership skills
  • Engaging in formal leadership curriculum and classes
  • Completing action learning projects and a capstone project with other participants in the LDP Program
  • Learning how our products and services stack up against the competition

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What you learn

You’ll learn about our business, the company culture and how to be a leader. You will learn from senior leaders and peers in formal classroom settings and informal environments. And since we limit the number of participants, you’ll have the opportunity to learn in depth how our leaders have helped make The Principal a great place for great people to do great work.

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Criteria for application

Required qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required at time of hire
  • Exceptional leadership skills demonstrated through holding leadership positions (formal/informal) on or off campus which could include cabinet roles within a student organization, captain position on an athletic team, or leadership role in a work related position
  • Strong analytical, communication and written skills
  • Business acumen as a result of internships or work experience
  • Desire to learn, explore and be challenged outside of comfort zone
  • Initiative to lead with or without a formal title
  • Proven track record of academic excellence
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA as of your graduation date OR anticipate having a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA upon graduation
  • Commitment to relocating to Des Moines, IA
  • Strong interest in a career focused around leadership/leading others
  • Willingness to travel as some travel may be required, including overnight stays (5%)

Preferred qualifications

  • Cumulative 3.25 GPA or above as of your graduation date OR anticipate having a cumulative 3.25 GPA upon graduation
  • Multilingual skills in Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, Spanish, or Malay
  • Study abroad experience
  • Community involvement experience

Visa sponsorship

This position is not eligible for sponsorship for work authorization by The Principal. Therefore, if you will require sponsorship for work authorization now or in the future, we cannot consider your application at this time.

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How to apply for the program

Step 1: Create your profile and upload your resume.

  • Don't forget to tell us how you heard about this opportunity by completing the Referral Information

Step 2: Search and apply for positions.

  • Using keywords: Development Program

Once you have successfully completed these steps, you will receive a confirmation email.

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  • February-June: Application available to juniors in their spring semester and first-round interviews occur
  • Early August: Second-round interviews
  • Late August: All candidates will be notified of offer or decline
  • June after graduation: Leadership Development Rotational Program begins

We'll Give You An Edge®

The Principal provides competitive pay that rewards exceptional results. And, we recognize that benefits don't come in a one-size-fits-all package, so we provide choice with our benefits at a cost employees and the company can afford.


The Principal is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer and an E-Verify participant. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status. If you live in or are applying for work in NJ, view and print information about your rights (PDF).

Student Opportunities

Meet our interns to learn how The Principal gave them an edge in preparing for their career.

Meet our interns to learn how The Principal gave them an edge.

Have a question? Call us at 1.800.986.3343

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