Executive MBA Program Blog

2021 Orientation - A Cultural Approach To Developing Relationships

Posted by Jessica Serpe on Aug 26, 2021 12:21:18 PM


Executive MBA Orientation

For three action packed days, our newest cohort made up of both Online and On Campus students met face to face to kick-off their Executive MBA experience.

Orientation is so much more than a simple meet and greet. Students learn the ins and outs of the program that lies ahead, but their experience goes far beyond that. They participate in multiple team building events including an escape room designed just for them. They receive their team assignments and begin work on the contract that will be the glue that holds their team together throughout the entirety of the program. They take an entire 1-credit Ethics course. They wine and dine, and continue to solidity their bonds into the evenings. Hear about the transformational experience first hand from three of our newest Executive MBA students who started their journeys earlier this month.




Michael Saltis, Online EMBA Class 30

The moment we have all been looking forward to since the congratulatory phone call welcoming us to the EMBA program was finally here!  7:00am came quickly and I found myself sitting in a limo bus on the way to campus with the rest of Class 30 about to embark on what I could only imagine would be an amazing yet tough, crazy, and unbelievable 17 months.


Our days were jam packed with everything from teambuilding to meals and even our first credit bearing class!  The faculty's attention to detail in the planning and execution of orientation would prove to be flawless.  Orientation did, with absolute certainty, set us up to be successful in every manor.


Along with meeting the EMBA staff and learning about the amazing support team that will be there for us through the program, we were introduced to the Business Librarian who provides support throughout the entirety of the program, our writing coach (a phD professor dedicated to helping our class), and even a dedicated IT resource.  Unbelievable is the word that comes to mind as I learned what RIT had done to provide us a solid foundation as we begin this journey.


I could talk about all of the fun team building activities, the interactive alumni panel, even learning about our own and each other's personalities, however meeting the faculty and fellow classmates was what made this orientation special. Our class hit it off right from the first ride to campus, where we took it upon ourselves to provide introductions and begin learning about each other. Throughout the course of three days we would continue to learn incredible detail about each other. In fact, it is hard to imagine how strong a friendship can be built after just a few days. However, that is exactly what orientation did - teach us about each other and provide opportunities to know each other on many different levels and in varying situations. 


By the end of orientation we had far surpassed basic introductions and found ourselves at the bar eating a garbage plate (or two), and even bursting out in song and dance on the bus. We developed such a strong connection which will be important as we support each other throughout the program. I consider my fellow classmates an extension of my family and am excited to grow both as an individual, and together as a class, through this amazing yet tough, crazy, and unbelievable journey.


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Dr. Christopher Kielliszak, On Campus EMBA Class 29

The EMBA orientation started with introductions and icebreakers over breakfast, where we first learned about our fellow classmates. I have a background in healthcare, and I was pleased to see that there was a great variety of different backgrounds represented in the group, including everything from law, finance, IT, and construction, to many others.One of my goals of the program was to network with professionals outside of my industry, and it became clear to me early on that was exactly what I would do.

After an outline of the program and expectations, we then had introductions to the upcoming courses. Over the next couple of days we had lectures on Business Ethics, Leadership Development, and an Introduction to our Accounting course. By the time the orientation was over, we had actually completed all of the in-class requirements for the Business Ethics course, and were ready to take the exam. This was a whirlwind classroom experience, from start to finish of a single course in a matter of days.

I honestly am greatly looking forward to the pace of the program. There is so much to learn, and I understand now how we will be able to get through it all in just 15 months. The course instructors are experienced professionals themselves who genuinely care about the education of the students. Furthermore, they clearly valued their positions as RIT faculty members.

I left the orientation excited about the program ahead!

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Erica Molina-Cortes, Online EMBA Class 30

Minutes into Day 1 of RIT’s orientation solidified my personal and financial investment. From the moment I stepped out of a limousine from the local hotel to head to Saunders College of Business with my fellow online Class 30 RIT classmates, I knew this was one of the best decisions I’d made.

The 3-day comprehensive orientation structure is rigorous. The focal point is preparation for academic success and relationship building with program staff, professors, and classmates. We received and reviewed support materials on Grad School 101 basics – how to write a paper, how to conduct research, understanding our behavioral engagement profiles to enable improved collaboration and problem solving. We kickstarted the learning process with an immersive and engaging dive into Business Ethics.  And then we did some fun stuff: our pop culture trivia was tested, as was our ability to engineer solutions with a few sticks and connectors. We definitely learned who was going to be the most competitive!

It’s not often that you get to enjoy the company of your professors at their homes, but that was part of the RIT experience. The camaraderie and support across the board was unparalleled.

After just 3 days and a few classes under my belt, I can unequivocally tell you that the 30th online class is RIT’s best-in-class.That said, I bet the 29th class says the same, as does the 15th class, and so on. Why are we all so convinced that we are a part of the best of the best? It starts with the orientation experience and RIT’s cultural approach to developing relationships as a core of academic success.







To get a closer look at what an EMBA Orientation looks like, view more photos here: Orientation photos





Did you miss our post about this years International Trip destination? Read about it here:

Topics: online learning, Experiential Learning, Executive MBA