IMBA Orientation 2020
Date : 2020-09-18 Department : College of Commerce【Article by the College of Commerce】
Sunday September 6th, 2020 marked the official new semester for IMBA students. The significance of the day bore a different weight than it has in the past. Fewer students; smaller venue; adjusted schedule. The year 2020 has been unprecedented, and after months of adjustments the IMBA program is fortunate enough to be opening its’ doors to students at all. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every part of the world and it has threatened programs all over. Taiwan has been one of the most proactive in response and fortunate enough to stymie the pandemic. This is crucial for the new batch of students, and perspective students looking to further their education internationally.
There were hurdles. First, the Taiwanese government placed tight restrictions on international travel. These restrictions especially limited students. Current students were left in uncertainty about travelling abroad and their visa status, but those already here had the advantage of already being here. Life is, in a lot of ways, normal on the island after an effective response. However, perspective students faced different circumstances in their home countries, uncertainty about visa, travel, quarantine, and starting classes.
This year’s orientation for new students was important in demonstrating that it is business as usual. The IMBA office members have done a fantastic job at making adjustments amid the situation. From helping with online classes last semester, to coordinating with Student Council on graduation, to doing all they can to help as many of the new students to adjust to life in the IMBA program. Many of the international students were not able to make it time for the Leadership Camp, which was postponed until next semester. So, the orientation served as the introduction to the program and many hands were involved to make it a good one.
Orientation started at 9:00 AM in the Commerce Building. The room was a tight fit but brought together all the students together. The new batch, almost all Taiwanese, trickled in with many familiar faces from previous batches. The 2019 batch was represented by dark blue camp shirts. There were a few from the 2018 batch that could also be seen in their light blue camp shirts. This was important for the new students as they lacked the international representation to get them acclimated to the diverse IMBA culture. The students were seated at tables to make it easier for them to interact and do activities. The IMBA office provided snacks to all as well and a live feed was even setup for those who couldn’t attend.
Things kicked off with the speakers and schedule that was previously arranged. New (ish) IMBA Director Shari Shang gave the welcome address. Second-year Byron Clarke was asked to help facilitate team building activities. This included crafting a building made of spaghetti and marshmallows and designing a logo for a case; as well, students explored the campus on a scavenger hunt. A major highlight was the presentation by Professor Swee-Huat Lee, a regular at the Leadership Camp. He was able to give his presentation to the new students, which mainly focused on learning to learn, conscious competence, and seeing the shark – a favorite.
After a delicious lunch, there was a slate of speakers for the students to enjoy. IMBA administrators, Li-chi Ho and Jasmine Lu gave informative speeches and will be primary contacts for the new students. IMBA Alumni Association President Chris Cottorone made an appearance and encouraged students to stay active beyond the program and graduation. Current alumni Charles Chen and Ana Victoria Herrera provided former student perspectives. As well, the new Student Council, Dragon Boat, and Oath Club also shared their insights.
The day ended on a warm note – casual pizza, snacks, and beer in the student lounge organized by the new Student Council. Many of the new batch joined where the event doubled as a recruitment session for the clubs students are interested in. The advantage of the smaller group made meeting and remembering their names easier. The new batch of students seemed talented and eager. However, we know there are more great personalities to meet, and the IMBA students and staff will be anxiously awaiting those awesome students to join this awesome program.