“Engineering” a roller coaster out of paper

“Act Your Success” Puts You in Front of the Class

After a smooth check-in on campus, expect to deep-dive directly into the transformation you dreamed about while drafting your candidate profile for the MBA program. “Act your Success” is a three-day seminar where you interact for the first time with your fellow MBA students through a series of writing and improvisational workshops.

The end goal is to provide MBA students with the communication skills needed to succeed in the program and the professional world.

The seminar begins with the outstanding consultants guiding you–and sometimes pushing you!–in the basic elements of a business presentation. You have to introduce yourself to a group of 12-15 students without using a microphone.

The focus is on you:

  • Being understood by people of diverse backgrounds
  • Using the appropriate structure, attitude and content to make your presentation memorable
  • Making eye contact
  • Using simple and easy-to-understand gestures
  • Speaking loud enough to be heard and using a slow rate of speech

Remember, only 10 percent of the message you’re conveying is in the content itself! The rest is in your body language and other non-verbal means of communication.

Roller coaster success

Next, jump into the first workshop and discover what it takes to work with a diverse group of people while following rigid guidelines. Choose your role: Are you going to be an engineer or a public relations specialist? You are in charge of a roller coaster, and it’s up to your team to build it, prepare the press release and market it at a new product launch. That’s pure team work, a lot of fun and the perfect occasion to become closer to your peers!

Eventually, you start intensive trainings in improvisation and acting. Forget about intellect for a while and observe other people’s emotions and reactions. When you first get on stage with your group to act out your story, you are acutely aware that there’s more than 100 people in the audience watching you. That feeling fades away once you start acting, and eventually you forget that they are even there.

Quickly forget that everyone is watching your performance.

My advice to the next group of “Act Your Success” participants? Get connected, be creative, just let go. But be aware, because you could find yourself, like I did, playing the part of a desperate monkey in front of every member of your class!

Overall, “Act Your Success” was an outstanding experience.

-Text by Noel Marciniak, MBA ’18