- Traditional engineering graduate programs focus on classroom coursework and independent thesis research, which may or may not adequately prepare students for leadership roles in industry. This paper describes an alternative graduate program developed at the University of Idaho called the Idaho Engineering Works (IEWorks). IEWorks is focused on developing leadership, creativity, communication, and time management skills in addition to traditional course and thesis work. This paper compares the IEWorks experience to other student experiences, using surveys of current and future graduate students as well as alumni and faculty. The results of the surveys suggest the increased workload in IEWorks interferes with thesis research and coursework. However, the data also suggests the professional skills developed in the program are highly valued by the majority of the graduates and offset the additional workload.