2 2 Orientation Week Whittemore MBA orientation week is an exciting introduction to the MBA program. Beginning on Monday and ending with a social hour on Friday you will experience a very busy and exhilarating week. Our goal is to introduce you to the basic building blocks of an MBA program and to develop the team building skills that you will find essential as you develop your organizational and leadership skills. The busy week includes a business simulation game, introductory lectures from each of the functional areas of business, book discussions, a tutorial on case presentation skills, and a session on career exploration. Shown here, Professor Druskat, Faculty of Management, introduces the Wednesday session, focusing on team building and leadership skills. GLO-BUS Business Simulation As one student commented, it s like a non-swimmer being thrown into the deep end of the pool. GLO-BUS is an on-line simulation exercise where MBA teams manage a global camera company in head-to-head competition against other teams in the class. It is a very realistic exercise and begins the very first day of orientation. GLO-BUS is a company that sells digital cameras in four markets, one in North America, another in Europe, a third in Asia-Pacific., and a fourth in Latin America. Teams must make over 50 decisions each period during the exercise. These decisions range from marketing and advertising decisions, to manufacturing and supplier decisions. It is a simulation that introduces you to the range of business decisions that must be made in a real-world, highly-competitive marketplace. On the first day the class is divided into teams of four players. The game is led by Professor Mirenda who is shown here briefing the class during a two-hour introductory session. After this session teams meet and prepare their first decision. But this is a practice round so they get a chance to familiarize themselves with the game and experiment with strategies that may or may not prove effective. At this point confusion is high. More questions are raised than answered. How should we decide? What is important? What happens if we make a big mistake,
3 3 can we recover? What is a profit and loss statement and how does it relate to a balance sheet? How much impact will changes in the advertising budget have on sales in each of our markets? Do changes in the employee training budget have much influence on sales and profits? How do all of these decisions interact? But confusion is the first step in learning and what the MBA students find is that the confusion quickly begins to recede. first deadline. Early the next morning MBA students are eager to hear a presentation on basic accounting skills. This begins to help them understand the many reports they receive as they play the game. For those with no business background they quickly begin to learn a new and useful vocabulary. For those with business experience the presentation provides a welcomed refresher. Shortly after this presentation the teams huddle and make their first real decisions. Here Kelley Campbell, Gabrielle DiPerri, and Andrew Demeusy prepare for their After the first round, MBA students begin to understand the ways in which functional areas interrelate. They learn how increasing the employee training budget and decreasing the marketing budget can affect profits and cash flow. And they learn how suppliers need to be used to absorb an increase in production goals. But help is never far away. Here, Professor Merenda explains to Justin Robert, Anthony Solaqua, Claudio Quadarella and David Rudolf how the information provided through the simulation software can be used to understand how these changes interact and how the information system provided as part of the computer-based simulation can help them make more effective decisions.
4 4 With the first round completed and the results posted, the competitive pressure builds. For some teams their strategy turned out to be very disappointing, for others it placed them high in the rankings. During the weeklong game, rankings changed several times, and when the final round was played everyone held their breath as the rankings appeared on the screen. The winners, shown here, included (left to right), Laura Finn, Liberty Elliott, Andrea Giotopoulos, and Amy Eichler. But not only did this team win the Whittemore MBA competition, they also placed among the top teams nationally who played the game during this period. The runner up teams also placed within the top 20 percent of all teams who played the game. Go UNH! With the winner announced, teams prepared a ten minute PowerPoint presentation for the last day of orientation. Here, Janice Zirlen describes how her team organized the decision process, set goals, made decisions, and then revised this decision process as the results from each period were made available and then carefully evaluated by her team. Team Building at the Browne Center strength to the team. An equally exciting part of orientation week is devoted to team building skills. The Browne Center, a remote location in woods near UNH, provides an ideal backdrop for a day of games, exercises and discussions that provide insight into how individuals work best in team environments. Here, left to right in the front row, Justin Robert, Miranda Miller, Claudio Quadarella, and Claire Landon group around dissimilar personality characteristics to learn how diversity adds
5 5 Outside the Browne Center, the group continues to build their team skills by learning how to work together to achieve common goals. Here Mike Lavoie, Zarina Kyle, Jared Kosin and Professor Druskat practice team balancing skills during one of the many team competitions Team relationships are built on trust as are relationships between organizations their suppliers and customers. But the trust building process is difficult to learn through traditional means of education. It cannot be learned by simply reading a book! Here Anthony Solaqua leads Zarina Kyle through an obstacle course in which the emotions and behavior elements of the trust building process are explored. Case Analysis and Presentation Skills At the end of the week the class starts to think about next week and the beginning of Term I. Since the one-year program relies on case methodology in over half the courses, it is essential to build case analysis skills early in the program. During the end of the week we devote an entire session to building these skills. Here Professor Peter Lane introduces the Case Method. During this session MBA students learn how to read a case, identify the major issues, create alternative solutions, and present their conclusions in a professional, convincing, and effective way.
6 6 Student Comments on Orientation Week I wasn t sure what to expect, however the faculty and my peers have put my mind at ease. It s going to be a great year. Great group of professors, great group of students. Great week, I really liked the heavy load of information. Wonderful job! I truly believe that we owe all the faculty and staff a tremendous thank you. Topic choices and (computer game) was amazing. The excitement/passion of the staff really showed. I am Excited.
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