LEAP Week! Ever since I received my acceptance letter in March, I anticipated the start of my MBA journey. The program has an orientation week called LEAP Week for the incoming MBA class. LEAP stands for Learn, Engage, Assess, and Present, and we exercised each of these throughout the week.
LEAP Week is really a 7-day orientation program spread out over 10 days. It occurs the week before classes are set to start, and allows the students to get acclimated before the entire university comes back for the fall semester. LEAP week is filled with informational sessions, Excel assessments, business communication lectures, and the all-important Rinehart Negotiation Project.
Right off the bat, we started LEAP Week with our professional headshots and group photo. I’m really excited about our class. We have a very diverse group of students with various professional interests and international experience. The first day was full of information. Throughout the day, we heard from administrators, faculty, alumni, and guest speakers about topics ranging from program overview to “How to Dress Professionally”. We also learned about the concentrations offered by the program:
· Business Analytics
· Supply Chain Management
That afternoon we met our communications professor, Dr. Linda Lyle, and she delivered our first MBA class lecture. Her course is so comprehensive that we have to start class a week early just to fit all of the curriculum into the schedule! Dr. Lyle spoke about the effectiveness of professional communication in both oral and written applications.
The next day was the start of the Negotiation Project by Dr. Lloyd Rinehart. Probably the most charismatic professor I’ve ever encountered, Dr. Rinehart introduced to us a supply chain negotiation project accompanied by an extensively detailed Excel file. The premise of the project is teams are broken down into four groups: Suppliers, Manufacturers, Carriers, and Distributors. The goal was to use the Excel file given to each team and negotiate with the other team to maximize your profit margin. Sounds simple and fun right? Well it was fun, but not simple at all. The next three days (and nights) were spent negotiating and finally on Friday afternoon, we were able to turn in our projects and present our findings. Oh, and none of this was for a grade.
Overall, LEAP Week was really busy, but was very informational and helped build friendships among the class. I think it’s beneficial to start classes knowing your classmates, and this will help our teams work well together throughout the semester. The first session will consist of the semester’s first 7.5 weeks, and the classes will range from Business Skills Development to Demand Management to Financial Accounting. I can’t wait to start!