3 Major Benefits of our Introductory Seminar

Entering an Executive MBA program can be stressful. It’s been a long time since you were in school and you’re going to be in class with highly successful people, and that can be intimidating. Most if not all of our students start out feeling a bit of impostor syndrome.

One of the best tools we have to transition those incoming students into the program is the three-day in-residence seminar. Far from just learning how to get your student ID and parking pass, the new class spends two nights in town, getting a taste of the program and getting to know each other.


In Residence Seminar 2018


1. Builds your first team – a key to learning leadership and teamwork.

We begin on a Thursday morning, going over the results of a Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI) that you’ve already taken. At the same time, we place you with your first team (the four or five classmates you’ll work with for the first six months), so you can start learning the best ways to approach each other and how to play to each person’s strengths.

We always play some kind of game or organized activity to put this into practice. Recently, we took students to an escape room – an adventure game that requires your team to solve a series of puzzles to “escape” a room. We’ll analyze how it went afterwards, seeing how behavior illustrates the strengths and stress points identified in the SDI.

We also get you acclimated to the class as a whole, inviting program alumni to guide your cohort in discussing your goals for the program and for relationships, and what rules you’ll follow to accomplish those goals – for instance, spending extra time together outside the classroom to form stronger connections.

2. Eases you back into the classroom.

Chances are, it’s been a few years since you’ve been in a classroom, and you haven’t worked those study muscles in a while. We’ll give your team a couple of example assignments to work on – typically some reading that you’ll need to consolidate, synthesize and present.

This puts you back in a mindset of thinking critically and developing presentations, in a practice assignment that you won’t be graded on. It also gives you more hands-on experience working with your team.

3. Integrates spouses/significant others in a meaningful way.

You’re not the only one who will work hard (and benefit!) throughout this program; it’s going to be a strain on the people closest to you, too. That’s why we invite spouses and significant others to join us on the second night of the seminar.

You’ll sit down to dinner Friday with your team and spouses to start knitting relationships. Not only does that mean your spouse can put faces with names when you say you’re meeting with John and Elaine to study, it means spouses can form friendships, too – which helps increase the valuable personal and professional connections you’ll make throughout the program.

The next day, we do a workshop on living and working with different personalities. We go over the results of the Meyer’s-Briggs Personality Type Indicator with students and spouses – led by the very entertaining Austin psychologist Dr. Richard “Nick” Grant. This means that not only will you learn helpful information about how your classmates think and work, but also gain meaningful insights about your spouse that will help strengthen your relationship throughout the program and your lives.

Of course, there’s even more to the seminar we haven’t mentioned here. You’re going to be tired after we finish at noon on Saturday, but you’re also going to feel more confident about the program. Our students are also surprised at how much fun they have. It’s the first taste you’ll get of just how addictive the collaboration and insight from the Neeley Executive MBA program can become.


Interested? To get in touch with someone who can talk to you about your personal goals for an Executive MBA program, start the conversation.