Ten Jump Start sessions, a Pub Club, a fiesta, and one weekend later, I jumped head-first into LEAD (Leadership, Exploration, Association, Direction). It’s more than just orientation. It’s an immersion. From 8 am to 6, 7, or 8 pm each day. All week, my classmates and I have been sharing “trigger moments” with each other (how we got here, why we chose to pursue an MBA at Foster), discussing our expectations of the program, and getting to know each other real well, real fast. Already, I’ve managed to test a few boundaries with my sense of humor. For one, I recommended Eneman, a plush enema doll used to promote colorectal screenings at trade shows (and the best tchotchke ever!) as an informal team mascot. Blank stares, then, some smiles. I figured I’d take a few risks before Finance starts, right?
This LEAD also marks the launch of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking, which runs a class, Management 510, concurrent with our core courses throughout the year. We’ve been learning about team-based leadership, the qualities of strategic thinking, and how both will apply to nearly every field that we will study. Through all this, it’s been amazing to me how our class is so diverse, yet so similar in many ways. We come from different countries, states, cultures, and educational and professional backgrounds, but we’re all here for the same reasons. For intellectual challenge and career growth. For networking and friendship. For holistic success.
With nametags, place cards, coffee mugs and backpacks in tow, this week has been a flurry of excitement and a touch of anxiety. Foster has done an excellent job of providing us with schedules, syllabi, panels and presentations on the “nuts and bolts” of the program. But, for a lot of us, we only have a “sense” of what’s coming. We know we’ll be BUSY during our first quarter, but how that will play out individually and in our teams is still a big unknown. In business and in life, we’ll often face times of ambiguity, and the next two years stands to transform us all. The best part? We’re in this together. Ready, set . . . go!
Guest Blogger: Adrienne Matthews, Foster MBA Class of 2011