Gabelli Launch for FTMBAs is an onboarding required for all incoming first-year students in the Full-time MBA program. The program begins in July with both online and in-person components, and includes preparatory academic, interactive, and experiential learning prior to the fall semester. Through a variety of unique workshops, exercises, lectures, projects, and networking opportunities, students prepare for success in the FTMBA program and in their career development.
The intensive Gabelli Launch for FTMBAs allows students to bond and meet before classes begin and stretches them intellectually in important ways. The objective is to shift and enrich students’ mindsets, values and skills as they apply to:
- Leadership Development and Teamwork
- Communication Skills
- Technical Skills with Data Analytics
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
- Social Innovation and Sustainability
- Career Development and Networking
Leadership Development and Teamwork
During Launch, students gain an enhanced understanding of effective leadership and teamwork. Students learn how to maximize their leadership potential, even without a formal leadership title. As students discover different leadership styles and enhance their interpersonal skills they uncover various techniques for influencing and persuading a diverse range of stakeholders in any organization. Through team exercises and consulting projects, students learn about leading effective teams and how teams can solve problems to make decisions more effectively in difficult situations.
Students also participate in sessions that spark their innovative thinking and work on leadership presence with nationally renowned professionals. Sessions cover important topics to leadership, such as diversity and inclusion, ethics, global and cultural awareness, and well-being.
Throughout Launch, students participate in sessions on interpersonal communication, managing conflict, personal communication styles, and presentations skills. Through hands-on experiences, students learn strategies for communicating assertively, boldly, and confidently. Students also gain valuable, personalized feedback about communication strengths and improvement opportunities.
Technical Skills with Data Analytics
To excel in business technical skills, two weeks of the Launch are dedicated to MBA QuantCamp, where students solidify their foundation in four major areas – accounting, statistics, finance, and economics – as a preparation for classes in the fall.
In addition, prior to Launch, students are required to complete MBA Math, the self-paced program that offers lessons in five subjects: Excel, economics, statistics, accounting, finance. After learning the concepts through the narrated lecture and seeing the formula summary, students work through drill exercises to analyze data and solve problems in common business scenarios using Excel spreadsheets.
Over the course of Launch, students are introduced to tools in data analytics via asynchronous content and in-person instruction to help them with business technical skills. Sessions include Excel, Tableau, R Programming, Datamaran Certification, and Bloomberg ESG, among others.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
MBA students need to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills to address business challenges. Students are presented various business frameworks and case cracking analysis in workshop sessions on business challenge structuring and problem solving from leading professionals. Students develop faculties of innovating, ideating, and strategizing based on data analysis and global insights.
Social Innovation and Sustainability
Students are presented current social innovation and sustainability issues in the business world by leading professionals and scholars. Sessions include accounting reporting standards (in partnership with SASB), humanistic management, social innovation, industry analysis for sustainability, and sustainable supply chain management.
To understand the role of social innovation and sustainability in business management in the decades to come, students are put in teams to conduct a consulting-oriented project during the last weeks of Launch. The “Business for 21st Century” engagement is led by the Responsible Business Coalition at the Gabelli School, an incubator for collective action among the leaders of modern businesses.
For the consulting projects, students tackle an industry using data analysis and research to make a recommendation on sustainable business practices to a firm in that industry. Consulting projects culminate with a Consulting Challenge, which pits student teams against one another for a prize and recognition.
Career Development and Networking
Even before courses begin, students start to work strategically to begin their career development journey for the MBA internship and full-time job search under the guidance of professionals at the Gabelli School’s Career Development Center (CDC).
Early in the summer, students start Launch2Landing, a two-year MBA career development course, which requires completing a series of mandatory career activities beginning in June, designed to aid students in narrowing career objectives and create materials to begin the job search.
During Launch, students become familiar with the resources available through CDC, begin practicing how to tell their personal stories to resonate with employers and receive search tips from 2nd year MBAs who have successfully navigated their internship search. Launch programming includes guest speakers and workshops on career exploration, internship search, resume and interview prep, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, other MBAs, and faculty.