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MBA orientation: Building connections

299 students + 4 days of orientation = Countless connections built and friendships formed.

MBA orientation week engages incoming students from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences and provides the foundation on which our core values of leadership, teamwork and community are built.

Check out some highlights from our Class of 2018 MBA Orientation.

MBA Orientation - UNC Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolMaking the team

Each MBA study group drafted a charter, which serves as the foundation of how they will work as a team. The exercise designed to helping teams identify ways they can benefit from the different personalities, experiences, skills, abilities and motivations of the group to optimize performance.

Taking the pledge

UNC Kenan-Flagler students received three environmentally friendly beverage containers provided in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and the UNC Sustainability Office. Students signed the Carolina Green sustainability pledge, vowing to support environmental integrity, social justice and sustainable economic prosperity in their daily actions.

Building connections

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA teams worked together to build bikes for deserving students from Durham’s Global Scholars Academy (GSA).


“The next generation literally has to propel our nation. If we don’t invest in the young children that are the next generation, we are going to be in big, big trouble.”Jim Johnson

Professor Jim Johnson – who co-founded GSA – kicked off the event by presenting his research on the browning and greying of America and explained GSA’s mission: to improve educational outcomes and overall life chances of youth who are at the greatest risk of academic failure due to significant social, economic and educational challenges. Many GSA students come from neighborhoods characterized by high rates of persistent and concentrated poverty, joblessness and criminal activity.

The GSA experience – which includes a host of academic, social and cultural enrichment activities – serves as a gateway for at-risk students to attend competitive colleges and universities.

At the start of the event, each MBA team reviewed an essay to learn about the GSA student who would receive the bike and drafted a personalized card with a special message of encouragement. In a surprise twist, GSA students were present to not only receive their bike, but to help build it – giving MBAs an opportunity to engage, interact and lead while forming new connections with the young scholars.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School - MBA Orientation - Class of 2018 - Around the World group danceSocializing around the world

The Around the World social provided a great platform for for our 84 international students – from 24 different countries – to teach their classmates about their culture and traditions.

2016 MBA Orientation by the numbers

  • 299 students in the full-time MBA Class of 2018
  • 4 days of orientation
  • 8 legacies
  • 56 MBA study groups
  • 53 Global Scholars Academy students in 1st-4th grade
  • 56 bikes built for deserving GSA students
  • 3 additional bikes given to GSA students to “pay it forward” to their classmates
  • 3 environmentally-friendly beverage containers to help students practice sustainability