Queens University of Charlotte Kicks Off New Online MBA with Weekend Residency

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Students met in Charlotte for teambuilding, leadership workshop and presentation by Hugh McColl, Jr.

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The residency also provided students an opportunity to meet their alumni mentors in person and start building a relationship that will be vital to their professional development.

The McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte launched an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) this fall, welcoming 28 students employed in various industries across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to its inaugural cohort.

The online MBA at Queens aims to provide business professionals with a transformational experience that goes beyond the online classroom, combining team-based learning and leadership assessments with personalized guidance from alumni mentors and executive coaches.

To kick off the program, the incoming cohort met on campus for a weekend residency session inclusive of face-to-face networking, leadership development and teambuilding activities.

“Given our emphasis on team-based learning, we thought it would be valuable to bring our online students to campus to get to know their teams, meet the faculty and set the tone for how they would interact and work together throughout the program,” said Dr. Ronald E. Shiffler, Dean of the McColl School. “The residency also provided students an opportunity to meet their alumni mentors in person and start building a relationship that will be vital to their professional development.”

Friday night featured a welcome reception where students met faculty, alumni mentors and Dr. Pamela Davies, President of Queens University of Charlotte, followed by dinner and remarks from Dr. Shiffler. The highlight of the evening was a keynote speech by retired Bank of America Chairman, CEO and President Hugh McColl, Jr., who shared personal stories about his successes and spoke of the importance of taking care of employees as a critical component to organizational success.

“Hugh McColl was absolutely amazing,” said online MBA student Claire Obert, who works in human resources at Carolinas Healthcare System. “The most powerful message that I received from his presentation is that you are not a successful leader without a strong team behind you that trusts in you and your ability.”

“It was nice to see someone with so much success put so much emphasis on how to treat others,” said student Justin Parker, a treasury analyst at Ally Financial, Inc. “His tips on how to succeed, how to trust others, and how to treat other people were very impactful.”

The second day, Associate Dean Dr. Will Sparks led a leadership development workshop and administered the students’ results from his self-assessment, the Actualized Leader Profile (ALP). This self-assessment was developed by Dr. Sparks and measures one’s dominant motive and corresponding style of leadership.

“The leadership styles workshop was an eye-opener for me,” said Kiara Arnold, an online MBA student currently employed by Ingersoll Rand in IT sourcing and supply. “Not so much because I wasn’t aware of my own traits, but it showed how it can positively or negatively affect team dynamics. I am now more cognizant of my communication style and applying an objective mindset in situations.”

That afternoon, students gained hands-on experience in teams which were assigned based on the ALP results. They quickly saw which team members would take on leadership or support roles during a white water rafting excursion at the US National Whitewater Center.

“The teambuilding event was amazing,” said Arnold. “This was a great way to demonstrate effective teamwork and communication. The cohesiveness needed while rafting applies to the professional environment as well.”

The residency concluded with teams devising and presenting team charters that dictate how they plan to work together throughout the duration of the online program. Students also had the opportunity to take a professional headshot and team photo before heading home after a productive weekend.

“Having been away from school for such a long period of time, I am quite nervous about re-entering the academic realm,” said student Larry Oxford, a product manager at Trinity Manufacturing, Inc. “The residency helped diminish my concerns after seeing how my fellow classmates and the staff from Queens are thoroughly engaged in the success of the program.”

The McColl School of Business is accredited by AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier international accrediting agency for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in accounting and business administration. The McColl School is one of only 5 percent of business schools worldwide to hold this designation.

The McColl School at Queens is now accepting applications for its spring 2015 online MBA cohort, with a residency planned in January. The 36-credit hour online MBA program offers concentrations in leadership and healthcare and can be completed in two years. For more information about the online MBA program, visit http://www.online.queens.edu or call 866-313-2356.

About Queens University of Charlotte:
Founded in 1857, Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-educational university with a commitment to liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, North Carolina, Queens serves approximately 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. Notable recognition includes being ranked No. 18 among regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report in 2014, and our five faculty members who have been named N.C. Professors of the Year.

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Heather Bogus
Queens University of Charlotte
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