Temple Times Online Edition
    OCTOBER 6, 2005
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Boot camp a big boost for M.B.A.s

Photo by Lisa Godfrey
Kyle Hutchinson reaches out to Meghan Sirocky as Fox School students combine physical strength and mental toughness to climb a wall during the new leadership boot camp, “MBA Essentials,” part of the redesigned M.B.A. curriculum.

Ropes courses, climbing walls, kickball, trust exercises — just another day in business school, right?

On Aug. 14–15, before the regular fall semester began, incoming students of The Fox School of Business and Management’s new redesigned M.B.A. program spent two days in leadership boot camp, held at Camp Kweebec in Schwenksville, Pa., as part of the Fox School’s new pre-term, “MBA Essentials.” Though the camp is only two days long, students come out vastly better prepared for what’s ahead.

“What happens in the two days is the students bond and they have more time to get to know each other,” said Robert Bonner, assistant dean to the M.B.A. program. “They figure out how they operate as leaders. We want to get them really thinking about that.

“They learn as a team how to get things done. You see people who you thought didn’t have it in them really step up to the plate.”

And with the business world demanding that M.B.A. grads have better and better teamwork skills, these exercises are becoming increasingly important. “Everyone kind of played their part,” Bonner fondly recalled of the most recent group. “People led when they should have and knew when it was time to follow. That’s what teamwork is.”

The boot camp also served as an unofficial welcome to the Fox School’s international students. “With 40 percent of our students being foreign,” Bonner said, “it’s also a good introduction to American culture. Summer camp is a very American institution.”

- By Mike Benner