New course lays foundation for MBA students

BUIES CREEK – Campbell Business kicked off its revised MBA program with an accelerated short course, MBA 700, to put students on a targeted path to academic and professional success.

“As we enhance and revise the MBA curriculum for our students we felt it was equally important that we address the experience of being in our program,” said Campbell Business Dean Dr. Kevin J. O’Mara. “MBA 700 embodies the culture of collaboration, teamwork, innovative thinking, and personal development that we want to embed into our program and among our alumni.”

“The professional relationships that are formed among classmates in a graduate level program are invaluable to students — both as they progress through the program and after they graduate,” said Campbell Business Business Operations/MBA Director Somer Johnson. “One of our goals in designing this course was to create an environment for new incoming students to get to know each other in a setting that is much less formal than a regular class, therefore encouraging the opportunity to begin developing the support and networking systems that one should expect to gain from an MBA program.”

A crucial part of learning at the graduate level is building a culture of collaboration, and MBA 700 aims to do just that. Students partake in informal interactions, work together in small groups, take part in case analysis discussions, and converse over meals. The collaborative approach prepares students for lively engagement among peers while taking future courses.

Prior to MBA 700, each student takes The Attentional Interpersonal Style Inventory (TAIS), a leading personal assessment tool. TAIS, which is used by Olympic teams and the Navy Seals among others, focuses on enhancing individual performance. Students receive individualized reports with an explanation from a TAIS-certified facilitator.

Annual surveys of global CEOs consistently ranks innovation as their top priority or among the top three for their organizations. MBA 700 addresses why innovation is so crucial today and why it is so difficult to achieve. The concept of Design Thinking is introduced as a methodology to foster innovation and create a more innovative company. The common methodology of Design Thinking provides Campbell Business MBA students the means to work smoothly together on projects that require developing creative solutions.

The revised Campbell Business MBA is designed for an active engagement with the material, not just reading and responding. In MBA 700, teams of five students are introduced to this type of learning by developing the concept for a new business using one of three designated business models. The teams develop a concept, flesh it out, and present it to the assembled group in an informal, yet important setting. These presentations serve to think creatively, wrestle with business concepts, and practice presenting in a low-risk, supportive setting. It all supports building a collaborative culture through a shared common experience.

MBA 700 also introduces to their network of Campbell alumni, with over 7,000 alumni in the RTP alone. A panel of alumni offer encouraging testimonials and motivation to the new students as a part of the course.

“The MBA 700 course established a strong foundation leading into the revised Campbell MBA curriculum, said Campbell Business MBA student Mike King, executive vice president, operations of Verdesian Life Sciences. “The format and structure creatively weaved in key tenets of the program – collaboration, personal learning, and a focus on innovation. The interactive and hands-on approach through group projects, along with the learned tools, really solidified the concepts and provided a great learning experience.”

“The MBA 700 course was a great way to start our journey into the MBA Program at Campbell University,” said Andrea Tellez, commercial finance analyst at Cisco. “It gave us a detailed perspective on what we should focus on to be highly successful in today’s changing business environment. We learned that as futures leaders, we will need to be able to quickly identify our individual as well as our team’s strengths and weaknesses so that we can better leverage and lead with our combined strengths. Using these tools and leadership strategies we learned in class will help us create more successful and productive teams that focus on achieving common goals effectively. The class reinforced the importance of excellent communication skills, core business knowledge, and the ability to manage change. As the class progressed, we were able to implement what we learned via hands on experience which culminated in a case project.”