In August 2008, the MBA program launched a new Jazzed Up MBA Orientation and Leadership Communications Retreat at the Hampton Inn & Suites Convention Center in downtown New Orleans for the new students. Thirty-five students participated in the weekend-long event. To create a corporate retreat atmosphere of relationship building, we arranged hotel accommodations for each student. The weekend gave students an opportunity to experience the environment of a typical business retreat and created a unique relationship-building experience for the students.
Over the weekend, students participated in MBA Orientation and their Leadership Communications course. The format was an interactive and educational workshop where students gave presentations, wrote executive summaries, and worked in teams throughout the weekend. The course will continue through mid-October, when the students will meet on campus to present their communication audits.
The highlight of the weekend was the Teambuilding Jazz Session with Michael Gold. Through the performance of a live jazz ensemble, students learned how jazz musicians listen, improvise and collaboratively manage risk by building trust and crossfunctional awareness. Michael related skills used in jazz to the business world.
When the students left the retreat, they felt exhausted but invigorated for the start of the Fall 2008 MBA program. They had built relationships with one another and learned how to communicate effectively. The first annual Jazzed Up MBA Retreat was a huge success.