Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Launch Workshop - Jan 3, 2011

So begins my 2 year journey to an MBA at Concordia University in Austin, TX. This blog is an attempt to help me capture the events, process and hopefully personal growth through this two year journey.  I decided to do this as one of the members of the first Cohort had done the same thing and it really helped me by reading her blog.  Not that this will help anyone else, but at least it will facilitate my own gathering of thoughts each week.
The journey began this past Monday night, January 3rd, with the Cohort 2 Launch Workshop. It was facilitated by Dr. Ford. Upon arrival, there was a sense of apprehension AND excitement in the air. The room was arranged into five table groups, four people per table. Dr. Ford and Dr. Christian were both moving throughout the room sitting with different table groups to get to know us and break the ice.
Our homework due for that evening was to each bring in a one page situation brief that focuses on one aspect of the the assigned problem. The problem we were to address was that given the current global economy, what can we do to capture, cultivate and retain a talented workforce. We could try to address this at as high a level or low a level or our own choosing.
As we began sharing our situation briefs with our individual table groups, my table discovered that we had all essentially written similar situation briefs focusing on workplace fulfillment. Each table group took notes on one large paper to summarize the approach to this big ambiguous problem. The discussion was great and gave great insight into the thought processes of the members of the cohort and what to expect in this two year journey together. Once we discussed as our table group, two members of the group had to rotate to another table to learn what that group had come up with, share relevant information that we could add, and discover commonality in our approaches. Each table group's paper was put up on one of the walls and we spent 10-15 minutes going over all of them to look at varying approaches.
We spent the rest of the evening discussing various introspective questions with our table groups and then would share with the whole room as facilitated by Dr. Ford.

Personal thoughts:
I came into the evening wondering how easy or difficult this journey would be. I shared that evening that I am terrified, but very excited. I came away from the evening with the utmost respect for my peers as I got to observe their transparency, as well as their thought process. The humbling thought for the evening came to mind as I was listening.....I thought to myself, "I'm not the brightest bulb in the box". This is a room of diversity of education and work backgrounds, ideals, and thought processes, but it's a diversity that will serve to complement and unify us as a "little family". I'm proud to be a part of this group and excited to watch us all grow through this together. I hope I can still feel this way at the end of this semester :-)

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