Kellogg | Mr. Chief Product Officer
GMAT 740, GPA 77.53% (First Class with Distinction, Dean's List Candidate)
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Kellogg | Mr. Marketing Maven
GRE 325, GPA 7.6/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Vroom Vroom
GMAT 760, GPA 2.88
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3

MBAs Face No-Nonsense Hurdles At Fort Benning

Glad this is only one day at Fort Benning (Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

Glad this is only one day at Fort Benning (Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

Simple enough.

Well, not exactly. Each mission contained “touch red your dead” obstacles and imaginary land mines which stood between the students and their goals plus very limited, ambiguous materials to use as resources. What’s more, each challenge required significant levels of physical strength, adding another level of confusion when trying to determine how a team could collectively finish the mission. As if adding insult to injury, once the instructions were given, the military officers who served as the day’s facilitators quietly faded into the background. Any requests for help—outside of repeating the original instructions—were blatantly ignored.

A new MBA student at Emory Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

A new MBA student at Emory Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

ULTIMATELY, THE DAY’S EXERCISES ARE ALL ABOUT DEVELOPING SELF-AWARENESS

So how does all of this translate to the business world? “I’m focused on our students’ re-entry into the workplace,” says Emory leadership professor Peter Topping. ”When they leave Goizueta a year from now, most of them will return to the workforce as managers or they’ll be on the management track. Therefore, it’s important for them to be able to foster team work and to deal with ambiguity.” Topping also pointed out that the day’s exercises are ultimately about self awareness. “To lead others, you start by leading yourself better.”

Wondering how well Emory’s MBAs performed when they were brought on base and challenged military-style? Like true MBAs, they exhibited creativity and perseverance, a can-do attitude and passion. Where many fell short was planning before tackling; either too little time assessing what was before them or too much time looking at the obstacle which led to the kind of analysis paralysis that is pervasive in big companies.

“MBAs are trained to ‘go’ first,” said Full Time MBA Program Dean Brian Mitchell. “This course teaches them to plan first. It helps them be more effective and saves time in the end.”

A willing MBA candidate at Emory (Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

A willing MBA candidate at Emory (Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

SATURDAY WAS A LONG DAY UNDER A HOT GEORGIA SUN

Nevertheless, after a long day under a hot Georgia sun, the MBAs (who, by the way, just started the MBA program two months ago) were more energized than when the day first began. Sure, hardly any of the obstacles were defeated, but the MBA candidates undeniably left Fort Benning with new perspectives on leadership.

Reuben Weislogel, who was in investment management before enrolling at Goizueta, said his biggest takeaway was that he discovered his personal leadership style. Having the opportunity to lead a mission and to see how others led, “I learned that my leadership style is to set up the situation, lay out the task and tools, ask for input and then execute.”

Nicole Bullock, who had worked as a human resources specialist for International Paper, enjoyed seeing more of her fellow classmates take on leadership roles and said a key takeaway was being able to quickly adjust one’s leadership style based on the task at hand.

Not exactly a drill sergeant, but no push over, either. (Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)

Not exactly a drill sergeant, but no push over, either. (Photo by Ann Borden/Emory)