This past Tuesday evening, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to dinner with the Dean of the Fisher College of Business, Christine Poon. This dinner was the first in a series of WPMBA Executive Dinners, a new effort to “engage, network, and learn from our community business leaders in an intimate dinner setting.” And in intimate setting it was. Four of us were invited because of our attendance at the GE Summit that Dean Poon kicked off in October. It confirmed how one good action can lead to another, which leads to another, and so on and so on.
The Dean knew that as WPMBA students, we had to be in class by 6 pm, so dinner was catered by Panera and held in her conference room. This was the perfect setting for a quite, intimate dinner in which we could really talk and get to know each other in such a short period of time. Right away, I felt comfortable with Dean Poon. She was extremely warm, kind, funny – and honest. She told us that while the Fisher WPMBA program ranks high on many listings, its alumni continue to rank it much lower – which negatively affects the overall program ranking. Thus, if Fisher WPMBA graduates rank the program higher, then the program will likely rise in the rankings, increasing the value of a Fisher MBA. The Dean wanted to talk to us about how we felt about the program and discuss some of our thoughts on how to improve it.
The hour went by very quickly. We discussed topics like career services, orientation, class offerings, and how to keep WPMBA students engaged in general. Dean Poon encouraged our honest feedback, and facilitated the discussion in a way that made us feel like we were truly welcome to provide it. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to sit next to the Dean for an hour and have such an intimate discussion. If she is able to have a similar discussion with every person in the WPMBA program (a lofty goal), then I’m certain that the Fisher WPMBA program will rise in the ranks.
Thank you, Dean Poon!