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By Yakubu Agebese, 2012 MBA Candidate
This summer, the Tippie MBA program received another mark of distinction after winning the Team MBA Service Award during the 2011 GMAC conference. The winning submissions: the GMA’s “Be the Match” bone marrow drive and the GFMA stock trading competition for Tippie Build 4. The drive, creativity, and passion exhibited by the MBAA last semester have shown no sign of letting up and this year’s MBAA has several new plans in the works, promising to make 2011-2012 another year of which the MBAA and the Tippie community can be proud.
One of the goals of this year’s MBAA was improving tailgate attendance. The MBAA executive team sees tailgates not only as a chance to kick back and enjoy the football season, but as an opportunity to build class unity, bring more alumni back to campus, and raise the profile of the Tippie brand in the eyes of prospective employers. The Gavilon Group, an agriculture and energy trading company, sponsored its first tailgate during the University of Iowa versus Louisiana-Monroe football game. The Gavilon tailgate, as the event came to be known, was one of most well received tailgates of the year. It drew a strong attendance of students, many of whom used the tailgate as a chance to learn about career opportunities at the Gavilon Group and the commodities industry in general. United Stationers, the country’s largest wholesale distributor of business products, hosted its tailgate last weekend and the attendance was equally as strong as students connected with United Stationers partners and fellow Tippie MBA alumni.
The MBAA has succeeded in drawing more students to MBAA townhalls, the case interview club, and this year’s mocktails and mockfairs. Other successful changes include this year’s Philanthropy Day, in which the MBAA and the Class of 2013 partnered with Junior Achievement to sponsor new product competitions in Iowa City and North Liberty elementary schools. At the competitions, students learned the value of teamwork, critical thinking and time management.
With the confidence earned from its past achievements, the MBAA is laying the groundwork for an entirely new goal. “We are organizing exposure trips to local companies so we can understand their work environments, cultures, and unique business issues” says outgoing MBAA president William Rue. These trips are a completely new initiative that the MBAA plans to have ready before the beginning of the spring semester. Although the MBAA already sponsors trips to companies in Minneapolis and Chicago, exposure trips to local companies are designed to tap into Tippie’s advantage as the best ranked MBA program in the state of Iowa in order to create career and educational opportunities for students and alumni.
On the whole, the MBAA has done well and the outlook for student life at Tippie is positive. “I am optimistic about the MBAA because of the good direction we’ve set in professional development,” says Rue. “I’ve also been impressed with the energy of the Tippie class of 2013.”