Winston-Salem, NC – Several hundred new graduate students are soaking in the Wake Forest University Schools of Business experience and getting to know fellow classmates and faculty.
Classes started for the School’s Full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA), Winston-Salem and Charlotte Evening Working Professionals (WPP) MBA, and Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) programs on August 26. The Master of Arts in Management (MA) started in July.
Of the 64 incoming full-time MBA students, 15 are international students from Trinidad and Tobago, India, South Korea, Nigeria, Panama and China. Seven of the incoming MBA students matriculated directly from the military, including Bridget and Jon Wilson, who met as platoon leaders while deployed in Iraq. Bridget is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and Jon is a Vanderbilt graduate. Both served more than five years as engineer officers in the Army.
“The family environment and support systems here are unbeatable. We are both excited to dive immediately into our studies,” said Jon. “It is enthralling to return to an academic environment and mentally challenge ourselves, hopefully making some good friends along the way.”
The MA program reached record numbers this year with 96 students from 62 different undergraduate institutions. This was also the first year the program enrolled international students, who are citizens of Sierre Leone, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China and Vietnam.
The incoming MSA program totals 87 students. The students are from 33 different undergraduate schools, including 35 students who graduated from Wake Forest University. Seven percent are international students.
The 79 incoming WPP students in the Winston-Salem and Charlotte MBA programs represent more than 60 companies from across North Carolina, including BB&T, Merrill Lynch, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Bank of America, PepsiCo., Boeing Co., SPEED Channel, and R.J. Reynolds.
Of the incoming students in all of the programs combined, 37 percent are female students, and 25 percent are traditionally underrepresented groups – up from 21 percent from last year.
The students kicked off their school year with a five-day orientation that began on August 19, when Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch and Dean of Business Steve Reinemund welcomed students.
“We are a powerful community. We believe it is not just what you learn; it’s how you live and how you live among your peers. We believe strongly in community and will do everything we can to support communities of learning,” said President Hatch.
Dean Reinemund encouraged students to use this time to discover their passions and their “place” in the world, reminding them that this is a good time in their life to focus specifically on their personal development.
“Our goal at the business school is to first help every student find their place in society, and then to develop ethical business leaders that will make a difference in the world,” said Reinemund.
The Dean also introduced nationally recognized consultant, author and psychologist Tim Irwin, Ph.D., who talked about traits of leaders and included examples from his book, Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership. Afterward, Reinemund and Irwin engaged the students in a question and answer session in which students asked about career advancement and ethical questions in relation to leadership.
Orientation week continued with dozens of opportunities for students to meet their fellow classmates and faculty, and familiarize themselves with their programs. Faculty and 2nd year students engaged full-time MBA students with frank discussions in panel presentations. Students from the MBA and MSA programs participated in leadership development sessions that challenged them to think in different ways about how to solve problems, and encouraged them to explore their strengths.
On Saturday, August 21, all programs joined forces to tackle weeds and harvest vegetables in a Community Plunge at the Food Bank Community Garden at the Children’s Home in Winston-Salem. Their efforts will help feed less fortunate families this fall through the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Triad Community Kitchen.
*** To see video of the presentations and events from orientation week, click on the links in the above text.