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Opening Residency

Opening Residency is a case-based introductory experience for students enrolled in The Richmond MBA. Satisfactory completion of the Residency is a prerequisite for enrollment in any graduate class. During the Residency, students are provided with basic knowledge of the various business disciplines that constitute the MBA curriculum. Students work in teams to analyze a "live" case, based on a real firm with a pending business issue. Because the case deals with an as-yet-unresolved business issue, the students must grapple with applying their new knowledge and skills in a complex, ambiguous situation where the problem is not clearly specified, a definitive "right" answer is not known and complete information is not available.

The Residency takes place over two weekends in August. During the time period between the two weekends of the Residency, student teams conduct outside research on the case issue, analyze the case situation and begin their case analysis. The Residency concludes with the case competition judged by representatives of the case company and the faculty.

The Opening Residency has several main objectives, described below.

  • Provide take-away knowledge. Each faculty presentation focuses on a few central concepts of one business discipline. This provides students with a broad overview of the body of knowledge that constitutes the MBA curriculum.
  • Introduce participants to content material and faculty they will encounter during the MBA program. This provides students with the "big picture" so they will have a better understanding of how the material covered in individual courses fits into the larger context.
  • Set expectation of a high level of academic performance and rigor. The Richmond MBA is a demanding program and students need to understand the expectations and form a strong sense of commitment from the outset.
  • Establish a sense of community among participants in the MBA program and create a mutually supportive environment. The demanding nature of the MBA program makes a network of supportive colleagues essential. The Opening Residency creates these bonds among students and encourages them to rely on each other for support.

Course Materials. A few weeks prior to the Residency, students will receive a binder of course materials. This includes outlines of faculty presentations, background reading, and the case and related materials provided by the case firm. Students are expected to have read this material thoroughly prior to the residency.

Case. The Opening Residency is centered around a live case - a current, unresolved business problem being faced by a real firm. Students must diagnose the key strategic issues, apply their new knowledge and skills to the problem, and prepare a professional quality presentation of their analysis and recommendations. Representatives of the case firm work with the teams to ensure their ideas are well-grounded and realistic. Local business people judge the case competition which concludes the Residency. Past case competitions have been based on FedEx Corporation, Wachovia Corporation, Pfizer, Campbell Soup Company, Performance Food Group, Qimonda, The Brink's Company, Capital One, WestRock, McKesson, and Ledbury.

Grading Policy. The Opening Residency carries two hours of course credit and is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

The Richmond MBA

Robins School of Business
1 Gateway Road
University of Richmond, VA 23173
(804) 289-8553
mba@richmond.edu

Opening Residency 2016