The inaugural BBA Orientation Retreat, held at Winshape Wilderness in Rome, GA. August 25-26, was the Program’s first off-site orientation. It was designed to build community, increase self-awareness and enhance team and leadership skills. The program not only achieved these objectives but also provided students with a memorable and helpful transition into the Business School.
The retreat kicked off with a short orientation program at the school on Tuesday, affording the students an opportunity to meet Dean Benveniste and some of their professors. The Faculty panel gave the students the "big picture," exposing them to all academic areas of the curriculum. As moderator, Dean Andrea Hershatter kept the questions flowing, raising topics such as the primary content of each academic area, the range of electives offered, and special opportunities available.
At the idyllic Winshape Retreat, situated in a 26,000-acre wildlife preserve, Director and Associate Director of the BBA Career Management Center, Andy Rabitoy and Kim Molee, guided students through the first steps of the career search process, while Valerie Molyneaux who runs the international exchange program provided great insights and guidelines into studying abroad. Andrea Hershatter introduced the Goizueta legacy and offered students ten tips for success in the program. Director of Advising and Leadership Jill Pollard did such a good job highlighting the BBA Leadership Academy that the number of enthusiastic students who signed up to participate far exceeded capacity, and the staff had to scramble to accommodate everyone this fall. The Retreat evening activity featured a roundtable discussion during which students constructed a timeline of 20 significant life events. As they presented their life stories to the table, they broke personal barriers, formed bonds with one another, and came to some self-realizations about the events that have shaped them. S’mores by the bonfire and card games in the cabins capped off the night.
In the morning, the students eagerly participated in a ropes course, an experiential program that not only creates personal moments of fear and joy, but also facilitates team building. Students learned valuable lessons in communication, trust, confidence, role definition and goal setting, all key attributes of success both in the Business School and in careers beyond Goizueta. Other activities during the day included a picnic lunch, a resume workshop, a business research quest, and time with academic advisors. A cookout with live music provided by BBA alum and recording artist Will Scruggs concluded the retreat.
The BBA team succeeded in wearing out the Class of 2011! Students returned to Atlanta more connected to each other and more equipped to begin their journey as new Goizueta Business School students.
Sr. Associate Director, Student Life and Leadership