|The orientation focused on team building, developing leadership skills, and program requirements.||Teamwork - The road to success in the MBA program and in business|
"Take It to the Limit," a week-long orientation program, run by second year students for first year students, was held August 22-27 on the Ul campus and at the Allerton Conference Center. Designed to give first-year MBAs a running start in the program, the orientation focused on team building, developing leadership skills, and program requirements. It offered numerous opportunities for students to interact with each other, to meet college administrators, including the dean, and to talk with MBA faculty in both formal and informal settings. Special sessions were held on topics of current business interests, including ethics, diversity and sensitivity in the work place, and career planning.
All MBA students work in teams throughout their first year at Illinois. To get these groups off to a strong start, teams are formed at orientation. Students also met and worked with their mentors during the week-long program.
Invited guest speakers were James Stewart, author of Den of Thieves, who spoke on business ethics; Carol Konek, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and an associate professor at the Center for Women's Studies at Wichita State University, who spoke on diversity issues; and Ron Temple, purchasing & travel services, traffic, indirect purchasing manager at corporate offices for Caterpillar Inc., who spoke on terms of empowerment. In addition to the working sessions there were social events, including a Luau Party and a semi-formal dance in the Illini Union Ballroom.
One feature of the orientation that is becoming a tradition, is a kickoff for an annual fund-raiser. This year, the month-long MBA fund drive will benefit the homeless children of Rwanda. Co-sponsored by the Chicago office of UNICEF, the Illinois MBAs for the Children of Rwanda fund drive hopes to raise $25,000 to pay for essential supplies. "Contributions can make a big impact in Rwanda, if we can get supplies there quickly enough," said James Estep, second year MBA student and co-chair of the drive. "We want . . . the money to go into relief supplies and medicine that cannot be taken away by local authorities."