Through an intense, amplified game of capture the flag, the newest global supply chain management (GSCM) students at BYU’s Marriott School of Business accomplished more than just having fun or winning. This activity, plus other games and presentations, constituted a unique strategy to help the 120 incoming GSCM students build strong connections in preparation for the opportunities and challenges of their first year.
The fall 2022 orientation was held at BYU’s Spring Haven lodge. The spacious property is equipped with plenty of room to socialize and features a stunning landscape and impressive amenities—including a full-size gym. The student-run Global Supply Chain Association carefully planned the night.
“Our goal was to maximize the professional growth of these students,” says Paige Schulte, president of the Global Supply Chain Association. “But we knew that couldn’t happen unless they had strong bonds between each other. Established friendships are vital to successfully completing the big, intense projects that come with the junior core."
To help the students get to know each other in a setting outside of school, the association’s leadership planned a number of games, most notably, capture the flag. However, the game had a twist: three teams instead of two. “The junior core has three sections, so we made a team from each,” says Schulte. This made the game more strategic, yielding strong teamwork, trust, and, subsequently, friendships with each other.
Incoming GSCM student Sierra Jorgensen enjoyed her time at the orientation. “This was an incredibly fun way to get to know the students in the other junior core sections,” she says. “Tonight, I made immediate connections with people I had never met before. I was constantly meeting people the entire evening.” The lack of cell service at the event further ensured relationship building. “We experienced no distractions, just bonding,” says Jorgensen.
Chad Paskett, another student, concurs. “The biggest focus of the orientation was establishing connections,” he says. “Building relationships in class can be difficult, and since I didn’t have a ton of connections in the program before, bonding with my peers for six hours straight at the orientation was an important opportunity for me.”
Schulte emphasizes the importance of these relationships. “Your peers and faculty in the GSCM program become a solid network,” she says. “More than that, they’re family. At the orientation, we presented the idea that these are people you can turn to 10 years down the road.”
In addition to facilitating connections, the event included guest speakers who introduced the program. BYU Marriott dean Brigitte Madrian set the stage by speaking about the importance of integrity and the honor code. Additionally, prominent BYU Marriott GSCM alumni from companies such as Adobe and Sunrise Technologies formed a guest speaker panel.
“Besides meeting new people, the panel was the best part of the orientation,” according to Paskett. “We’re just starting our journey, so learning about the different career paths that some of our program’s highly successful alumni have taken was inspiring.”
All in all, everyone involved agreed that the event was a success. The new students received valuable direction and started lifelong relationships. “We created lasting friendships and networking opportunities,” says Jorgensen. “Every major should have an orientation like this,” says Paskett. “If you start right, you stay right,” he says.
Writer: Jaden McQuivey