News & Events

Kellogg welcomes MBA Class of 2009

Pre-Term initiates students to Kellogg life, academics

By Adrienne Murrill

9/4/2007 - Mission possible.

That was the message at the welcome address for Complete Immersion in Management (CIM), a Pre-Term orientation program for incoming full-time MBA students at the Kellogg School. CIM, which began in 1969, includes several days of team-building activities, speakers and social events organized by second-year students for the new class. It also includes the students’ first intensive core academic course in leadership.

“Your mission – and you must choose to accept it – is to throw yourself passionately into everything you do,” said John Thorpe ’08, the master of ceremonies for this year’s program. Dressed in a tuxedo, Thorpe welcomed the more than 600 students who gathered in the Owen L. Coon Forum Sept. 4. His lively and humorous introduction was the kick off to a formal welcome from the Office of the Dean.

Dean Dipak C. Jain addressed the students, stating that his mission was to share “how everyone can work together to take the institution to greater heights.” After briefly explaining his progression to the position he has held since 2001, Jain introduced the three senior associate deans and their roles at Kellogg. He also presented the platforms of the Kellogg brand: intellectual depth, experiential learning, global perspective, and leadership and social responsibility. These are bound together by what Jain said is the school’s most distinctive feature, a culture of innovation and collaboration.

“Kellogg takes a holistic approach to management education,” he said. “You will find in your two years here these four platforms emphasized at the heart of the Kellogg curriculum. We try to make sure that when you graduate, you are well prepared.”

Part of that preparation, he continued, will come from teamwork, for which the school is recognized. “You are going to learn from us, but also from each other. You have a responsibility to your group members to help them, to share with them your experience, your expertise, and also to be open to learning from them.”

Senior associate deans Kathleen Hagerty, Sunil Chopra and David Besanko also addressed the class, expanding on each of the school’s platforms. “Academics is at the heart of Kellogg,” Hagerty said, pointing out examples such as Kellogg Insight, the school’s new online research portal, and the many text books authored by the school’s faculty past and present. “Learning is an active experience,” Chopra said, building upon Hagerty’s comments. “In this classroom, between 600 of you, there is more than 3,000 years of work experience. Think of how much knowledge resides in this room. You must bring that to bat in everything you do, in every group you’re part of, in every class you participate in.”
Besanko touched on the Kellogg School’s past and present culture of innovation and collaboration, naming examples such as the JD-MBA joint degree and the new global requirement for students. “The culture of teamwork that you will experience as students is very much mirrored in the culture of teamwork among administrators and faculty.” He encouraged the incoming students to take full advantage of this time to engage in collaboration where possible.

This sentiment was echoed by the welcome from the Kellogg Student Association’s president, Zoravar Dhaliwal ’08. “This is an unparalleled opportunity to test our limits and see what we’re truly capable of,” he said. “Kellogg is a safe environment to leave your comfort zone and to take chances doing all the things you wanted to do but never had the opportunity to.” One of the reasons this is possible, he said, is because of the student cooperation with the deans, faculty and administration. “The administration is interested in partnering with the students and helping us get the most out of our time here.”

The new students will take the next two weeks to get to know their section mates, a group of about 70 students with whom they will take most of their first-quarter classes, meet the Kellogg School’s professors and become acquainted with the campus and community.

Pre-Term includes an intensive introduction to academics at the Kellogg School with an offering from the Management and Organizations Department called Leadership in Organizations. The academic portion begins Sept. 7. Other CIM activities will include a diversity workshop and a community service day.