Welcome, Class of 2013!

Just two weeks ago, Duquesne University’s Donahue Graduate School of Business officially kicked off the start of its seventh MBA-Sustainability program orientation. Looking forward to an upcoming year rooted in traditional classroom study and innovative consulting projects, the 2012-13 cohort has brought an air of excitement to Rockwell Hall.

“I’m really excited about the people I’ll be working with this year,” says Elizabeth Koppula, an Indiana-native with a professional background in telecommunications. “I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and read already!”

During orientation, students proved themselves both academically and professionally as a number of simulations and teambuilding exercises compelled them to think outside-of-the-box and consider the long-term effects of short-term gain. The panel of established sMBA alumni warned that this was just the beginning of a year-long intensive workload!

And, of course, the program prides itself on active learning. During last week’s orientation, the cohort met at the LEED-certified Regional Learning Alliance at Cranberry Woods where they participated in an all-day case study retreat where the students were challenged to develop a new business strategy rooted in sustainability.

“The program definitely stresses ‘learning-by-doing,’” offers Gayle Temple, who has an academic background in English Literature. “It’s a good thing they picked a cohort that works well together, since teamwork is so important!”

With an upcoming year full of course projects, case study competitions, and actual consulting work with Pittsburgh-based businesses and organizations, teamwork is a fundamental component of the program.

Nevertheless, as the cohort looks toward the future, Atalie Hayes, whose background is in biochemistry, has seemed to have captured the excitement and anticipation well:

“After a few weeks, I can already tell the sMBA program is where I’m supposed to be. The diverse group of students and faculty will surely learn and challenge each other throughout the year. I am eagerly looking forward to the future experiences that the program has to offer!”


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