The Wake Forest University Schools of Business welcomed a total of 252 new Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) graduate business students at orientation which began on Thursday, August 20 and officially ended Wednesday, August 26 with the start of the new academic year.
The incoming MSA class represents 34 undergraduate colleges and universities, including 46 students who graduated from Wake Forest University. The incoming Full-time MBA class represents 53 undergraduate colleges across the world. The part-time MBA programs for working professionals in Winston-Salem and Charlotte represent more than 60 companies from across North Carolina.
When combined with the incoming MA in Management class who began last month, the Schools of Business has a total of 380 new students. In this group, women account for 33 percent and 22 percent are from traditionally underrepresented groups – a year-to-year increase of eight percent. Additionally, the programs include international students from more than 13 countries including Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, China, El Salvador, France, Ghana, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Taiwan, and Venezuela.
Orientation activities included presentations from renowned speakers, program overviews, team building activities, and a chance for students to give back to the community.
“The primary goal of orientation is to acclimate students to Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University, the Schools of Business and each other,” said Betsy Hoppe, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. “We also strive to set academic expectations while providing a baseline of teamwork that will carry them through their graduate business experience.”
The five-day orientation kicked off Thursday with a welcome by Wake Forest University President Dr. Nathan Hatch, Schools of Business Dean Steve Reinemund, and Senior Associate Dean Charles Iacovou. These were followed by presentations from Joker One author, Donovan Campbell, and world-renowned performance psychologist, co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, and author, Dr. Jim Loehr.
Dean Reinemund welcomed the students by revealing, “My hope is that each one of you will graduate with the job of your dreams. I am optimistic that you will have found your own place in society. I am confident that upon graduation you will be on the beginning of a journey that will be of significance to you, your family, and society. If and when that happens, we will have succeeded.”
On Saturday, students participated in a day of team building activities at Bridger Field House. “We believe that putting team members into challenging situations is a great way to surface issues which will challenge them throughout their graduate business education and in their business careers as well,” said Sherry Moss, Director of the Full-time MBA program. “You can tell a lot about how a team is going to operate through its first year when you observe them working together during initial team-building exercises. When expert facilitators debrief them after these experiences, teams can begin to work through potential difficulties.”
Another highlight of orientation was a presentation by Schools of Business faculty member and BB&T chairman, John Allison. Allison spoke about the value in developing leadership skills and core values.
Students wrapped up the five-day orientation program with a community service project by spending Tuesday morning giving back to the area. Students from the various graduate business programs helped nine different organizations around the Winston Salem area with 10 different projects including delivering meals to the homebound elderly, organizing food for over 400 agencies, and assisting with marketing materials and fundraising events.
Classes began Aug. 26.