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The Dean's Digest - August 2014

08/28/14 -  

On August 15th, we welcomed 28 MBA students to the first Online MBA (OMBA) Residency Session for a fun-filled weekend of leadership development and team-building.

I was immediately struck by the amount of enthusiasm at the welcome reception and continued to be impressed with the level of engagement throughout the weekend.

We enjoyed dinner on Friday evening with a key-note address from Hugh McColl. I would also be remiss if I did not acknowledge the alumni who came out to support the program and serve as mentors. Their dedication made a lasting impact on the students and will be a critical factor in the success of this program. THANK YOU!

On Saturday, we brought everyone on-campus, where we launched the academic start and leadership development piece of the program with Dr. Will Sparks' insightful leadership style workshop. That afternoon, the class was divided into study teams based on their Actualized Leadership Profile (ALP) results and headed out to the USNWC for whitewater rafting.

Sunday morning, we were up and at it again bright and early to conclude the weekend with some basic housekeeping and the presentation of Team Charters by each study team.

There were so many great things about the weekend that I could share with you, but I want to leave you with several of my key takeaways: 

  • The Online MBA has provided an opportunity to pursue an MBA for very sharp, driven individuals whose personal and professional schedules prevent them from participating in an on-campus program. 

  •  The OMBA Class of 2016 has set the bar high! They come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. They are seasoned professionals with an average age of 35 and almost 12 years of work experience.  

  • We've created a program that helps bridge the gap between on-campus and online learning. The residency session fostered engagement and connection, and the study teams will build on those relationships and transform the online learning environment into a place of collaboration not found in other online programs.

After the residency, Larry Oxford, Product Manager for Trinity Manufacturing, shared his enthusiasm about the program with us, stating, "Having been away from school for such a long period of time, I was quite nervous about re-entering the academic realm.  The residency helped diminish my concerns after seeing how my fellow classmates and the staff from Queens are thoroughly engaged in the success of the OMBA program." 

For those of you unfamiliar with the OMBA program, I encourage you to learn more about it. We were charged with building an online MBA that upholds the McColl School name. I believe we've done this, and the Online MBA will expand our reputation, build our alumni network, and strengthen our brand.

Ron Shiffler


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