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Frederikke Catral

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Virtual Orientation: From Anxiety, to Team Bonding, to Awareness

Posted by Frederikke Catral on Jan 19, 2021 1:41:02 PM


Orientation is Crucial for a Successful Journey 

These challenging times have most of us, nonessential workers, working from home. Those who were not used to this “remote working” gig were suddenly thrust into a very unfamiliar work environment. Adjustments, frustrations, sometimes paralyzing fear of the unknown. What happens now? My internet speed is not fast enough! How do I pay attention when there’s this gallery of people staring back at me? Then, there were those of us who’ve had the experience, especially if we have been working with national and global companies.

But, a Virtual Orientation? The need to personally know and appreciate your cohort members and faculty is crucial to a successful journey through this program. For 17 months, we are supposed to be working together as a TEAM. How will meaningful connections be established? Until finally, Day 1 had arrived!


Day 1 - Anxiety, Anticipation, Excitement 

I think everyone in my cohort was wired. Everyone could feel even the quietest one’s excitement and eagerness to learn from the next three days. The electrifying feel was transmitted through the 0s and 1s of this so-called cyberworld. Our Team Builder, Lauren Grimshaw, immediately took control of the process gleefully but firmly. She was an emcee, DJ, point person, and team leader in one. On the first day, I felt and witnessed the anxiety and concerns from each student’s facial reactions wane as each hour passed. And the excitement? Whew! You could feel that as if we were physically present in a room! It was undeniable, especially after every breakout session. The smiling faces and the glint in our eyes shone through. I know – as is second nature to a former litigator, I observed and scanned the courtroom every chance I had. Here, I scanned the Zoom gallery and felt so good to be a part of this cohort.


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Topics: online learning, Experiential Learning, Executive MBA