Designing and Delivering a good induction/orientation programme for MBA students

An Impressive induction programme for the new batch of management students at your campus-

A need you can’t afford to ignore!
‘You only have one chance to create a first impression’ -Stephanie Perkins-
Every new batch of management students landing at B-school campuses, translates to a new group of heightened expectations. The first ‘event’ on campus, ie; the induction programme is their first encounter with the institute’s instruction pedagogy. Hence, it’s very important that the induction/orientation programme has to be something special. This is an excellent opportunity to send out right signals to the students and gain the confidence of the students. The programme has to be designed and delivered professionally. Essentially this occasion should give the students a chance to interact with each other, share ideas, work on something together and understand each other. It should ideally reflect the first stage in group creation process, the ‘forming’ stage. It also helps to set the right ‘tone’ to the proceedings of the forthcoming semester. The students need to gather momentum in order to participate in events and co-curricular activities. And a good induction programme needs to provide a platform to the students to get involved. It should inspire and motivate them to think big and act big. This could be an instance where they get their first hands-on experience in ‘organizing’ and ‘managing’. It’s a mini-lab environment where students can be christened to the very idea of the importance of management education by including activities, guest lectures, festivities and faculty interaction. ‘Creating Interest’, ‘Enhancing Appeal’ and ’Orienting’ should be the prime motives of such a programme. Contests, teasers, campaigns, cultural events and power speaker sessions can add great sheen to the programme. Typically an induction/orientation programme is not given due importance and treated merely as an ‘opening ceremony’, which is packaged as a   few hours of monotonous lectures from eminent guests. This can be very disappointing for the young student who is hungry for more. Ideally a programme of this nature requires a fair deal of planning. A 3-day schedule is best suited for an induction/orientation programme. The inaugural ceremony, speeches by eminent personalities and an address by the director/HOD of the programme and select faculty members can be slated for the first day. The second day can include sessions and activities by professional trainers and guest speakers. The third day can have activities, contests, teasers, and some cultural events by the seniors. Due care has to be exercised in selecting guest speakers, trainers and event guests for the sessions and the inaugural. The best bet in this regard is to invite people who can “connect” to the audience and have some track record in training/public speaking. A description of what topic needs to be covered, the session duration, the suggested pedagogy and SPOC (Single point of contact) details can help the trainer/speaker to prepare and deliver better. There are specialized training consultants /agencies that may be able to design and deliver an effective induction/orientation. At a time when B-schools compete with each other to achieve excellence and ‘differentiate’, such initiatives can help the institute/department stand out. These initial days at the B-school are days of excitement, fear, hesitation, apprehension and tension. A great induction/orientation offers the students good vibes and can help them ease out and adapt to the new environ.
A good initiative will always require necessary planning, budget, approvals and sanctions. Therefore it’s suggested that the planning and organizing of activities for such an initiative have to begin at least a month in advance. A good schedule template (which can be customized to meet specifications) in this context could be:
Sample Template:- 

Event Details
Faculty SPOC
Day 1
Invitees, Director, Cultural Programme Coordinator
10.00 am to 1.00pm
Prof. Krishnan

Faculty Interaction
All faculty Members
2.00 pm to 5.00pm
Prof. Smita
Day 2
Session on “Maximizing the Value from your MBA”
Mr.Gaurav Dixit
9.00 am to 11.00am
Prof Lavanya

Session on “ Leadership and Team Work”
Mr. Vijesh C
11.15 am to 1.15 pm
Prof Salim

Session on “Creative thinking”
Mr. Brad Hess
2.00pm to 3.30 pm
Prof Truman

Session on “Great Business leaders who cracked it young”
Mr. Rahul Mishra
3.45 pm to 5.00 pm
Prof Vishwas
Day 3
Short movie with a business theme (ex: Moneyball)
9.00 am to 11.00 am
Mr.Jayesh Chatterjee

General Knowledge Quiz
Mr. Sahil Varun
11.00 to 1.00 pm
Prof. Neena

Treasure Hunt with a theme/Outdoor learning
Mr.Ravi J
1.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Prof Dhruv

Cultural Programmes by Seniors/Interaction with seniors/Welcome Party
3.00pm to 6.00 pm
Prof Parul

*- The names mentioned in the template are fictional.
**- The sections marked in yellow can fetch best results only when handled by trainers/ professionals.

Get set to gift your new batch of management students a rocking induction/orientation programme.

Vijay G Padaguri. MBA, PGDTD, (PhD). Faculty, Manipal Global Education Services
For any queries/clarifications/assistance please feel free to contact me. You can reach me on: +91 9886630503 or


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