This past weekend, our cohort had the pleasure of attending our second integrative session, with a focus on negotiations. There are two Integrative sessions provided throughout the Corporate Residency MBA, providing students with the opportunity to learn skills in a high-pressure time-sensitive environment that simulates a real-world event.
The first integrative in which the Class of 2018 participated was a live case with a mergers and acquisitions theme. During this live case, our class were separated in various teams comprised of a variety of roles (such as financial advisors, board members, etc.) representing different companies like Salesforce and Microsoft.
In order to make this experience more realistic, updates to the simulation environment were provided at various points throughout the two days.
The second integrative, held this past weekend, was a complex negotiation simulation. A combined event with Master in Public Administration students, this event began with an address from the keynote speaker, Graham Steele, previous Nova Scotia Minister of Finance. Following this, we received a presentation regarding our case by Grant McDonald, SPA lecturer and retired Civil Servant.
This case provided our class with the opportunity to role play as governmental departments and non-governmental organizations. The negotiation involved a contractual agreement between a not-for-profit organization working with at-risk youth and a provincial governmental body. Each team was given general information available to both parties, as well as confidential information unknown to the opposing party.
Managing competing interests and sensitive information, groups were paired up and sent to work out an agreement. With competitive spirits and differing objectives, the tables were set for intense discussion.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, teams reconvened at the end of the day having learned to work towards collaborative win-win solutions. One common theme discussed in the debrief was the sharing of information: while at first felt reluctant to “reveal their hands,” numerous teams felt that a common solution only really began to develop after each side’s interests and desires were freely shared.
“The students now have a deeper appreciation of alternative program delivery options and the related challenges and benefits of cross-sector collaboration. It was clear to me that students strengthened and applied their knowledge of negotiation theory, strategies and best practices,” says Julie Tarry, CRMBA Program Manager. “To facilitate experience-based insights into negotiation dynamics and increase awareness of students preferences, strengths and challenges in team negotiations, is all part of developing the leaders of tomorrow.”
The Integrative Sessions are just one element of how Dalhousie’s Corporate Residency MBA prepares its students for effective employment. To learn more on program details, visit the CRMBA website.