Eugene Campus Immersion for Executive MBAs

Eugene Campus Immersion for Executive MBAs

Each year in early September, students in the Lundquist College's Portland-based Oregon Executive MBA program kick off their academic year with a few days on the University of Oregon's Eugene campus.

This intensive period—known as Residency—is a chance for the program's new and returning students to jumpstart their studies, connect with one another, and reaffirm the bond between their program and the UO as a whole.

The program's first-year executive MBAs use their time on campus to dive deep into their studies—and to readjust to being a student again. They also soon become aware of the unique strengths they bring to their study teams—and to the program as a whole.

“Residency provides our first-year students with a sense of what the expectations are in the program, as well as tips on ways to maintain a good work-life balance," said the program's Executive Director David Boush.

For second-year students—who came to Eugene refreshed after a ten-week summer break—Residency is a time to begin focusing on their capstone business projects, which culminate their time in the program. To help them kick off these projects, returning MBAs attend a course that outlines tips for success and meet one-on-one with their project advisors.

Second-year MBAs also experienced two new additions to the Residency offerings. On the students' first day back in the Lillis Business Complex, Dean Kees de Kluyver taught an intensive session on corporate governance. The students' final day of Residency wrapped up with a workshop on practicing mindfulness—and finding focus—within the corporate setting.

Along with the academic challenges of Residency, there was plenty of fun to be found—in everyday moments and planned festivities alike.

“Believe it or not, I loved staying in the dorms," said Marcus Smith, a senior manager at Adidas. “The first day when we woke up and walked past Hayward Field, it really made me feel part of the university."

On the social front, students from both cohorts attended a barbecue in Alton Baker Park on their first evening in Eugene and enjoyed dinner and cocktails at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on their second evening. For those new to the program, these occasions provided opportunities to glean advice from their more seasoned colleagues.

“While our class—Class 30—was stressing about the program's workload, talking with the members of Class 29 helped us understand that it was okay to relax," said Smith.

Whether it's in the classroom or during more casual moments, these opportunities for connection are significant benefits of the Residency period—and the Oregon Executive MBA as a whole.

“I think that there's no question that what makes the program special is the amount each executive MBA can learn from the program's other professionals, who all come from a very diverse group of companies," said Oregon Executive MBA's Boush.

Bea Armstrong, director of development and communications at the Deschutes River Conservancy, agrees.

“All of my classmates have been in the workforce for a while. Collectively, we have an incredible amount of combined work and life experience," said Armstrong. “This shared knowledge and experience base brings a rich dialogue to the class discussions."

For Armstrong, who is a member of the program's first Bend-based cohort, Residency served to confirm her decision to enroll in the program.

“It's a big decision to decide to go back to school midcareer—and also a significant financial investment," said Armstrong. “Residency affirmed that I made the right choice in pursuing the Oregon Executive MBA program."

See photos from the welcome event at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.