On Saturday, November 26th, students from Dalhousie’s Rowe School of Business came together to celebrate among classmates, friends, and faculty at this year’s annual MBA Winter Formal. The evening took place at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel and featured a cocktail hour, delicious dinner, awards ceremony and dance to finish off the night. Each year the event gives students a chance to take a break from all of their hard work, laugh and appreciate one another along with their professors.
The event is organized by devoted MBA students, and presents ample opportunity to get involved. In addition to the event organizers, there were MCs for the dinner and awards ceremony, and students running the lights, sounds, and music at the event. We spoke with this year’s lead organizer – Emma McGinn, and the group’s host for the evening – Geoff Hutchinson – on what they gained from the experience.
Having the opportunity to plan the Winter Formal made me truly appreciate how many details go into event planning. I learned to balance my Winter Formal to do list with my school work and worked hard to make sure everything was perfect for my close colleagues and professors. It all seemed to pay off in the end, and I’m so thankful for everyone who helped out along the way. In January I’ll be starting my residency term as an event coordinator for BMO in Toronto. I know my experience managing the Winter Formal this semester will help me immensely on residency. – Emma McGinn, Culture Representative, MBA Class of 2018
So much of our professional development has focussed on the day-to-day reality of working in a large organization, but very little has been discussed when it comes to events such as these, where the culture of your organization is reinforced. I’ve always been a confident public speaker, but speaking about the people that you work with every day, about your mentors and leaders (whether they’re faculty, or your management team), is a vastly different experience, requiring a totally different set of presentation and preparation skills. I think being involved this year really helped me to develop a feeling for how I should navigate the cultural life of an organization, and gave me an appreciation as to how difficult it is to make any large event run smoothly.” – Geoff Hutchinson, Academic Representative, MBA Class of 2017
A welcomed change to this year’s formal from previous years featured the removal of each class’ Best Professor Award. Instead, students gave short speeches thanking their professors for the semester, and shared a few memories from the classroom. Faculty members had the following kind words to share about the event:
Great job in organizing and pulling off the event so smoothly! Your time and efforts are much appreciated… In addition, nice change to do individual ‘thank yous’ to the Faculty. I think they went over really well! – Jim Power, Professor, Rowe School of Business
While I missed the dinner (but got their for the drinks, sorry no dancing), I understand from talking to some faculty members that it will go down as the best MBA Formal in memory (and some of these people have some long memories)! Loved to hear that you warmly recognized all the faculty members in attendance, they were really happy they went! It is a credit to both cohorts! My heartiest congratulations to the committee for the great work they did pulling off this event in the middle of a busy fall. Such a great sense of spirit and a great way to blow off some steam before final exams! – Dan Shaw, MBA Program Director, Rowe School of Business
Another consistent highlight of the event is the photo hour where students get shots taken with their group members, intramural teammates, society members, dates, committee members, and any other friends or classmates! The photos will serve as a reminder for years to come of the friends they made at Dalhousie, and the memories they’ll cherish from nights like the MBA Winter Formal.