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Dean’s Update, August 14, 2012

Daytime Accelerated MBA Orientation July 6 to 8, 2012 Welcomed Our Largest Cohort

The largest cohort so far in the eight-year history of the Daytime AMBA program became part of the CBA student body when 38 students arrived at the Long Beach Hilton for the 3-day Orientation. The faculty team, made up of Ingrid Martin, Dana McDaniel, and Hieu Nguyen was joined by program manager Marina Freeman-Garvey in welcoming the 8th cohort of AMBA students.

"Walking into the hotel, I thought the orientation was going to be hard work filled with boring assignments. It was the complete opposite … it was a great experience meeting so many great students and faculty. I honestly wished there was more time since it felt like we were just getting to know each other!" Raymond Wakiyama

The cohort is made up of 44% international students, 56% females, with average age of 26 and average GMAT score of 555. The students came from countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea, Bosnia/Herzegovina, and India as well as the U.S. This increased the challenge and the importance of ensuring that the students start the process of getting to know one another and becoming a cohort.

The Orientation was designed with two objectives: (1) to introduce the students to teamwork and case analysis while honing their critical thinking skills through a set of integrated team and case exercises; and (2) to provide an environment where the students get to know one another and experience a glimpse of what their MBA career would be like in a more relaxed atmosphere.

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The students participated in a series of team building exercises that encouraged them to think about the process of working together on a set of tasks (surviving a brushfire and creating a new product from limited supplies). The exercises included recurring themes highlighted by the faculty, such as the increasing importance of interactive teamwork and diversity in modern organizations and considering the needs of multiple constituencies when making decisions. The dinner on the first evening included seven current and former Daytime AMBA students as guests, who sat amongst the incoming cohort, and each took turns standing up to share stories, insights, and lessons learned, while enjoying a slide show from past cohorts' international trips.

The second day of the Orientation focused on case analysis preparation and started with an interactive discussion of critical thinking skills. According to Vipakorn Lewprasert, "The case study preparation was a great approach to familiarizing students with how case discussion will take place in the class … it was pretty exhausting but it was great to be in a case competition … it was really helpful at the end…".

The dinner on the second day included Marketing professor Sam Min and Accounting professor Herb Hunt, who will both be teaching in the Daytime AMBA program. They encouraged the students to 'hit the ground running' and to take advantage of all the resources available to them including their cohort. The students continued their bonding during the evening social event.

On the last day of the Orientation, the students were introduced to the support services available to them as MBA candidates. Leslie Kennedy (Director, Instructional Technology Support Services) introduced the students to Beachboard and Meeting Room (Elluminate). Alaine Weiss (MBA Career Services) familiarized the students with the career services available to them as they work through the next year. She stressed the importance of getting started on planning their post-MBA career right now. Students also completed the first phase of the assessment testing for AACSB while the second (post-test) assessment will be completed at the end of the program.

The closing luncheon included Associate Dean Omer Benli who welcomed the students to the CBA and Long Beach. They students also received logistical information about their first week, as well as an introduction to making the transition into the U.S for the international students.

Vipakorn Lewprasert noted that "… even though it was very intense and pushed me to my limit … the theme of the orientation was a very creative way to get to know the faculty and classmates."

In summary, Joanna Hashimoto said "… thank you for an unforgettable orientation you've provided for us. It truly was the greatest orientation I've ever experienced! Please know that all members of AMBA8 sincerely appreciate your taking time to get us through this. I am very grateful for the chance to be a part of this group."