Executive MBA Program Blog

Online Orientation: Off to a Successful Start

Posted by Kristen Peres on Jan 16, 2018 1:48:46 PM

On a blustery January morning, the newest online RIT Executive MBA Class 24 gathered to kick off their education journey. Welcome to the online EMBA residency – a three-day knowledge-filled, skills-gathering affair designed to propel students into the program with intention and enthusiasm.

Orientations can be perceived as boring and academic – we understand that. Our goals is to ensure that when you leave after three days, you have gotten to know your classmates, the program administration, your faculty, and most of all, that you feel comfortable jumping head first into the online Executive MBA program. While we do review academic policies and tutorials, orientation is designed to give you the crucial tools for success. And importantly, you will leave having earned credit toward your degree. The Team Building and Ethics seminar with Dr. Bob Barbato and provides a critical foundation for the rest of the program.

"Wonderful case studies and very practical applications of them to our lives. Bob did a great job of encouraging dialogue and offering counterpoints."

"Ethics is always a dry subject for me. There is always a debate of a right or wrong answer. Bob did a great job about not only raising controversial topics to get the class thinking, but also used very relevant and up to date examples that we can relate to from recent news stories."

Team Contracts

Jumping into activities on day one, the students got the chance to get to know each other over breakfast before formal team announcements. Why form teams from day one? The teams are meticulously curated to ensure a balance of skills and educational backgrounds. It gives you an immediate support system that will remain with you throughout the duration of the program. Forming a relationship with your team members face-to-face during orientation helps with the transition into online coursework. During orientation, you have the opportunity to meet with your team to develop a team contract, a document you will refer to throughout the length of the program. It will serve as a base for all your team decisions.

"I really like that the team contracts force us to hold not only ourselves accountable, but our team as well. Very good idea!"

A Welcoming Reception

More than just a gathering of your cohort, orientation is designed to introduce you to our administrative team and your future faculty. Team dinners provide the opportunity to get to know your classmates outside of the classroom, in a more relaxed environment. Team lunches bring in your entire faculty so you get to meet your professors before stepping into their online classrooms. An alumni panel gives you uncensored opinions and expectations from students who completed the program before you. We consistently hear from our students that these moments are what make orientation a valuable experience.

"WOW! What a showing. Our entire cohort was blown away by the outpouring of support at this lunch. The instructors were extremely personable and genuine, and this lunch went a *HUGE* way towards reassuring everyone in the cohort that the online EMBA program gets support and respect within RIT. This was the pivotal moment when I said to myself, 'I made the right decision.'"

"What an outstanding night. Really shows the commitment of the program. The team is acting like we have known each other for months already."

The most recent orientation successfully launched the program from the new Online Class 24 and those students are well equipped to face the next 17 months. The repeated acknowledgement of the in-residence orientation from students is a testament to the importance of bringing together students, faculty and the administration to kick off the educational experience.

Learn more about our students and their backgrounds by viewing our class profile.

If you interested in learning more about the online Executive MBA, please contact us today!

Topics: online learning, residency, EMBA