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American Public Transportation Association

 How to Apply - Leadership APTA Class of 2020

Before applying, please be sure you have read through each page of the Leadership APTA website and that you are well-familiar with the program’s goals and requirements, planned sessions, dates and locations, tuitions, fees, and related costs If you are selected, please ensure you are able to fulfill the program’s requirements and that you have the full support of your sponsoring organization’s senior and executive leadership.

One to Two Applicants per APTA Member Organization: APTA member organizations can submit up to two candidates as your applicants for the Leadership APTA Class of 2020. Organizations submitting more than one applicant run the risk that all their applicants would not be considered among the applicant pool.

All required application materials for each applicant must be posted to the Leadership APTA online applicant site by the end of the day, Friday, May 3, 2019, for applicants to be eligible to be considered to participate in Leadership APTA Class of 2020. The application web site will not be open after this deadline.

How to Apply - Please Read Carefully and Follow All Instructions

Individuals interested in applying for the program must provide the following information:

  1. Online Application: Your completed online application including applicant profile information.
  2. Essay: Please prepare a 750-word essay. The essay is the written “formal conversation” between you and the Leadership APTA Committee members who select the next class. First, begin your essay with a "Statement of Intent," a two-to-three sentences paragraph stating why you are applying for the program. Next, address these four questions:
    • What are your areas for personal growth and professional development?
    • How and why you will benefit from the Leadership APTA program?
    • What are your career goals?
    • Where do you see yourself in APTA and in the public transportation industry in the future?

The clarity and quality of your essay is the primary way the committee members will learn about your qualifications and aspirations.
  • The Committee recommends you use each question as a subheading in your essay, so that your response to each question is clear. 
  • Please address each question fairly and honestly. Failure to do so may disqualify you from being considered for the program. 
  • Take great care in preparing your essay. Be sure to ask your immediate supervisor to read your essay, give you feedback, and double check that you did your best to address the four questions.
  • Not addressing these four required questions is a serious problem and counts against you when the Committee reviews your application. If you do not address these questions, your application may be disqualified.
  • The essay is not a place to comment at any length on the state of the industry, your sponsoring organization’s successes, or APTA’s accomplishments. Your essay should not restate your resume information or the program curricula information listed on the web site.​
     3.  Current resume: Your resume needs to include current and past positions with dates of experience in public transportation and related industries. Job descriptions or equivalent documents are not acceptable resume submissions.
Please limit your resume to no more than three pages.

Please note: A short essay and a 10-page resume are not acceptable application submissions.

      4. Two industry letters of recommendation:

  • The first letter must come from the highest ranking official, e.g. general manager, CEO, or president of the public transit agency, company, or organization that is sponsoring you as an applicant. The letter from your executive leadership needs to speak to your leadership growth, career progression, and successes to executive ranks in your organization. This letter needs to address what contributions to your organization would be envisioned after attending the program. Very importantly, it needs to address your anticipated career trajectory. This letter may include references to an applicant's special commendations.
  • The second letter may come from your direct supervisor, a client, or recent/former public transit agency senior official. The letter from your supervisor/client/former public transit official, needs to give testimony through concrete examples of your leadership capabilities and why, at this point in your career, you would benefit from the program. The letter also needs to identify specific areas for professional growth and improvement through participation in the program. 
  • These signed letters should be sent directly to you as PDF files. In turn, you attach these signed PDF files to your online application.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are the principal of a small business applying to the program, we ask that your first letter of recommendation come from your Board Chair and the second letter come from your recent client.

  • The Committee will not consider additional letters or recommendation when reviewing an applicant’s packet. The committee highly discourages any APTA member from petitioning or lobbying members of the Leadership APTA Committee to select their candidate.
    1. Contact information: Please include contact information for your General Manager, Executive Director, or CEO; and for your direct supervisor.
    2. APTA Committee/Task Force/Area of interest: Please list an APTA committee/task force or area of interest you wish to become involved with upon your gradation from the Leadership APTA program.

Application Tips

You do not need to complete your online application all at once. You can enter your information in stages. After completing each section of the online application, you will have the opportunity to edit, add, or modify your application materials before submitting your application, up until the application deadline, the end of the day Friday, May 3, 2019.

Once you confirm that your application packet is complete by clicking the “Submit Final Version” button, you cannot make any further edits or additions. You must click the ‘Submit Final Version’ button in order for your application packet to be recognized as complete.

You will receive a confirmation email when you begin the application process and a second email upon final submission of your application materials.

Please keep an electronic copy of each section of your application, so you can upload it and submit again if your submission fails.

Link to Online Application

Please ensure that you reviewed all the program requirements, session dates, logistics and other matters prior to applying for the program. Likewise, be sure you discussed your plans and received the support and endorsement from your supervisor and executive leadership.

Reminder - One to Two Applicants per APTA Member Organization: APTA member organizations can submit up to two candidates as your applicants for the Leadership APTA Class of 2020. Organizations submitting more than one applicant run the risk that all their applicants would not be considered among the applicant pool.

Please click on the below link to access the online application.

Online Applications for Leadership APTA Class of 2020

APTA will only accept online applications. All required application materials must be submitted by the end of the day Friday, May 3, 2019. Note: the online application web site will not be open after this deadline.

APTA Point of Contact

If you have questions, or if you need assistance, please contact:

Joseph Niegoski
Senior Director-Educational Services
American Public Transportation​ Association
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