The new cohort for the Cottrell MBA program recently experienced a two-day retreat, giving participants the opportunity to meet one another before beginning the two-year program on the University of North Georgia's Cumming Campus.
"Students were able to meet each other and participate in team-building activities before starting the semester, providing the opportunity for them to learn more about themselves regarding experiences, leadership styles and teamwork skills," said Kelli Crickey, director of the Cottrell MBA program.
The event began with a meet-and-greet followed by dinner. Crickey then spoke about the Cottrell MBA program, its culture and professors, and what will be expected of the students as they earn their degrees.
|The new cohort stands with Director Kelli Crickey (second from left).|
Recent Cottrell MBA graduates Blake Williams and Tyler Frank then took the stage, and talked about how to be successful in the program. They also spoke to the challenges of the program, as compared to classes in an undergraduate degree, and encouraged incoming students to step up and embrace the experience.
"It was a great event. One of the reasons I selected the Cottrell MBA program was for its cohort format, where you all work together from beginning to end. The retreat was a great way to meet everyone before starting class," Carlton White, an incoming student, said. "The team-building events were an excellent way to get started and to encourage people to push themselves beyond their typical comfort zone, it really reinforces that this a big part of this program — expanding the way you look at things and the way you interact with people."
Students completed self-assessments and discussed results under the guidance of their leadership and motivation course professor, Dr. Wendy Walker. Much of the experience of the retreat will carry into the first term as teams are formed within the program.
The retreat came to a close with a dinner that included special guests of the students. Parents, spouses, and friends joined the incoming cohort to show their support and meet the program's professors and administrators. Cottrell MBA graduate Jesse Jordan, a senior manager at Career Builder, spoke during the dinner about how the program can enhance the students' careers. Faculty from the program and Mike Cottrell College of Business Dean Donna Mayo attended as well.
"It was very well organized, and we all had a great time getting to know each other," student Jordan Hester said. "I made some good contacts, and I enjoyed the exercises for team-building and leadership. Having the two graduates talk to us and learning about their experiences was really helpful. It was also nice to speak to the professors and administration during the dinner; they made us feel like they care about our success just as much as we do."