Student-led collaboration draws five programs together
What happens when you bring 30 student club leaders to a summit? You get ideas that are bold, inspiring and almost impossible to achieve (sort of).
The Fall 2018 Leadership Summit, held Nov. 11 at the Bay Area MBA campus in San Ramon, brought together some of the most dedicated, ambitious and talented students in the Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA, MSBA and MPAc programs. We discussed ways to enrich the student experience through cross-campus collaboration and strategic planning. After all, student clubs are at the heart of the School’s culture and community.
The summit also hosted the first board meeting of the Graduate School of Management Student Association (GSMSA), formerly known as the Associated Students of Management (ASM) Umbrella Organization. The GSMSA brings all five Graduate School of Management programs into one cohesive association, to improve our student experience in ways that transcend any one program.
The summit served as a beacon drawing all five programs together to develop solutions and make a positive impact on our own experience and those of future students.
It was not always this way. When I started the Bay Area MBA program in 2016, there was no student leadership summit. Clubs operated in silos. Events were planned independently, sometimes scheduled at the same time.
Student leaders from the ASM and the Dean’s Student Advisory Councils — from Sacramento and the Bay Area programs — took the initiative to meet and find ways to break down the silos. Fast forward to 2018 and the summit is now an integral part of the Graduate School of Management experience, with rotating semiannual meetings at all four campuses.
Coordinating with the student leaders at the summit has led to a number of benefits:
I now have close bonds with colleagues from programs in San Ramon, San Francisco, Davis and Sacramento. This has been challenging since I work in San Francisco and take classes in San Ramon.
The summit was a great way to pair the GSMSA with clubs that share common goals and purposes (e.g., Women in Leadership) to combine resources and co-host larger, higher-quality events. In my experience, the 10-week quarter system goes by quickly, and the need to plan several months ahead is essential.
We are “One GSM.” Despite the differences in programs, geography and even culture.
Planning Together to Take Action
I was in awe of the club breakout discussions. We discussed what clubs can do to grow the value of the Graduate School of Management, how clubs can support each other and how the GSMSA can in turn support clubs in their endeavors. In the GSMSA board meeting, the discussion was more strategic, with marketing and finance identified as the board’s top two priorities for the year.
Shape a Better “One GSM” Future
Most important of all, the summit served as a beacon drawing all five programs together to develop solutions and make a positive impact on our own experience and those of future students. In doing so, we are “One GSM.” Despite the differences in programs, geography and even culture. We are one tight-knit community and an extended family.
Following the summit, I feel my colleagues are moving the School forward. With this vision of a unified community, I’m excited about the action items to be completed before the Spring 2019 Leadership Summit. Bring it on!