Most of the Orientation weeks I had experienced in past academic studies were focused on introducing the staff of the university, the methodology of the classes, and the amenities the university building provided. On the contrary, the Fall 2019 SFU Beedie School of Business orientation week went above and beyond the basic information received in traditional orientation weeks, and allowed me to acknowledge three relevant learnings that helped me tremendously during the first semester of my full-time MBA studies.
1. Nothing is impossible with discipline and win-thinking
Charmaine Crooks, a five-time Olympian and Olympic silver medallist was a guest speaker during orientation week. Her speech was very inspiring because she talked about how you will face obstacles on your way to success, but these will never stop you if you work hard and never give up on your dreams. Charmaine’s speech made an impact on my way of thinking and motivated me to put all my efforts into everything I do to succeed and achieve my goals.
- Everyone learns in different ways
Carolyn Egri, SFU Beedie William J.A. Rowe EMBA Alumni Professor, delivered a leadership workshop to our cohort during orientation week. This session was very dynamic – we were involved in many activities that allowed me to know myself better, and recognize there are many features I need to consider while I am leading a team. The most valuable learning that I acquired from this leadership session was that people learn in many different ways – doing, watching, analyzing, breaking down things, and more. As a leader, I must be aware of how my team members learn in order to work well together and be efficient as a cohesive team.
- Engaging with people provides a safe environment and facilitates the flow of teamwork
I learned from a variety of activities that engaging with people is fundamental to successful teamwork. The different activities we completed during orientation week helped me get to know the people in my MBA cohort more closely because I could learn details such as where they are from, their career background, hobbies, and so on. We did a team-building activity called The Amazing Race, which was very valuable to start working in our course teams and get to know each other better before starting fall term classes. Last, but not least, we had an interactive session with the Drum Café, a team-building exercise that helped us feel connected to one other and working as one cohesive team through the creation of music.
I can definitely say that SFU Beedie’s orientation week surpassed my expectations, and set the required foundations for a safe environment in the classroom. As a result of the activities that we did in orientation week, our cohort has had a good experience during our first MBA semester because everyone feels comfortable asking questions and expressing their opinions. Now, our full-time MBA cohort does not feel just like a team, but more than that, we feel like family!
Victoria Ventura Cáceres is currently a full-time MBA student (2019 Cohort) at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Victoria is also an SFU Beedie Student Ambassador. Connect with Victoria via LinkedIn.