Retreat & Big Idea

Learning Team Retreat

MBA students are first introduced to their Learning Teams through the Learning Team Retreat, which takes place over the course of two days during Pre-Term. The Learning Team is an intensive learning experience designed to build transferable skills that promote effective personal and team performance. Attendance on both days of the retreat is a mandatory part of the MBA program.

Learning Team Retreat

The primary goals of the Learning Team Retreat are:

  • Meet your Learning Team and begin the process of team formation: Your Learning Team consists of five to six (including yourself) classmates from within your Cohort. You’ll work closely with your team throughout the Fall Semester for your core courses to gain hands-on experience in a process for progressing from a group to a team.
  • Meet your Leadership Fellow: Leadership Fellows (LFs) are second-year MBA students who mentor, support, and facilitate the Learning Team formation process and serve as team process consultants throughout the first year. Each team is assigned an LF who facilitates and guides the teams through the Retreat and the Big Idea, helping students to understand how individual and team performance resides in action rather than position.  LFs also serve as TAs during Management 610: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership. Beyond Pre-Term, LFs provide first year students the opportunity to enhance their leadership potential through the development of practical tools and concrete strategies applicable in every area of their lives.
  • Have fun: Get to know your classmates in a fun and relaxed environment! Working with your Learning Team can be on of your most important and memorable experiences during your time at Wharton.
Frequently Asked Questions:

What are some of the retreat activities? The retreat is primarily designed for you to launch your team; therefore, most activities will be team-based, including team-building exercises. The purpose of these activities is to begin to get to know your teammates, further define your approach to your team, and build a foundation to work effectively together.

Is the retreat similar to corporate retreats? If you have attended a management development program in the past, you may find some of the team exercises familiar, but unlike these programs you are now working with your peers in a leaderless group. Exercises are designed to help your Learning Team get to know one another, have fun, and successfully begin your Wharton experience.

The Big Idea

Building upon the team formation process started during the Retreat, Learning Teams move into the Big Idea, where they work together as a team to develop a unique, innovative solution to a complex problem through participation in an Innovation Tournament. The focus of the Big Idea is creativity and innovation in teams, and the process successful teams use to select, refine, and develop innovative ideas.

The Learning Teams with the top designs from each Cohort will have the opportunity to present their solution to the entire MBA class as well as a panel of experts, who then select the winning Big Idea. The Big Idea is the first major task for the Learning Team and provides an opportunity for the team to work together prior to Management 610.