Sunday, September 5, 2010

Orientation Week

In sports, the pregame warm-up is essential to setting the tone for the competition.  Some teams have pregame routines or rituals where they fire each other up such as the Polynesian war dance called the Haka.  If you haven't had the chance to see the Haka performed by BYU's football team, here's a link: Others take a prayerful approach--they kneel together and offer a prayer while holding hands.  Some teams do both.  Regardless of how a team prepares for the game, the expected outcome is always the same: a more unified team with a stronger resolve to achieve greatness.

For me, the MPA orientation was like a pregame warm-up.  The events held throughout the week set the right tone for students to be successful in the program.  We were given multiple workshops such as resume building, interviewing, networking, and more.  We also had discussions on what to expect in graduate school, ethics, and what it means to be a graduate student at the Romney Institute.  Even though the days were long (they typically went from 8AM - 5PM), not a minute was wasted.  I had a great feeling coming home each day about the things I learned and my wife could tell I was excited about starting the program. 

By the end of the week, I had a better understanding of how the Romney Institute set out to accomplish the mission statement, which says:

The mission of the MPA program is to prepare leaders of exceptional capability and integrity who are committed to serving their communities and improving public service organizations. The Romney Institute of Public Management will accomplish this by:
  • Attracting men and women of faith and character who demonstrate professional promise and a commitment to improving the organizations in which they work;
  • Imparting the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to effectively lead public service organizations;
  • Providing students with opportunities to explore and identify career choices and achieve their public service goals;
  • Recruiting and supporting high caliber faculty who produce quality scholarship relevant to public service practice.
Orientation week was a great way to start the MPA program.


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