What do you think when you hear the word orientation? A not-so-exciting evening of speeches and people talking at you? In The Sawyer Business School, we think differently. The Sawyer Business School Graduate Student Orientation on Friday, September 8th was anything but boring. The students pursuing a graduate degree in the business field at Suffolk University, joined by faculty and staff set out for a night of excitement, engagement, and a preview of the interactive learning ahead of us.
Dean Benham welcomed us with an energy that set a positive tone for the rest of the night. He prompted us to discuss why we chose to come to Suffolk, and one answer was the faculty. This trend continued throughout the night. Dean Benham highlighted one aspect that makes our faculty standout–travel seminars. The faculty that leads seminars to different areas of the country and the world are all experts, have worked with that city, or are from the areas students travel to. This created a buzz of excitement among students, starting the conversation, “where are you going to go?”
True to the nature of the Sawyer Business School giving us hands-on experience—the MBA breakout session began with a group exercise. We completed a puzzle that tested our problem solving, communication, and organizational skills. The puzzle challenged us to think about perspective which led to our next activity—telling a perspective changing story to our team members. The hands-on learning didn’t end there. On the spot, each group had to compare and contrast member’s stories and put together a two-minute speech to present to another group.
Just like when a new business opportunity arises with no time to prepare, two groups nominated by their peers and had to present in front of the entire room. Every MBA student in the room was impressed by the confidence and poise the two groups held while speaking in front of a room of 200 strangers and the MBA program faculty and staff.
Armed with our new “Suffolk University MBA Programs” branded backpacks (that now can be spotted EVERYWHERE around the Suffolk campus), we headed to the 5th Floor of Sargent Hall for a networking reception. This was by far one of the favorite parts of the night (and no it wasn’t because of the refreshments). The reception portion of orientation gave students a chance to mingle with peers that we recognized from our first week of classes but did not have a chance to talk to in the classroom. The majority of people left with new contacts to collaborate on homework and class assignments with, as well as new members of their professional network.
We’re all here at the Sawyer Business School to learn new skills, gain new opportunities, and leave with a competitive edge that puts us a level above the rest in the workforce. These objectives were demonstrated from the beginning at orientation and prove that our careers at Suffolk will be filled with life-long skills and opportunity that will change our lives.
-Danielle Heath, MBA ’19