The goal of the Graduate Business Association (GBA) is to empower and celebrate our students by cultivating opportunities for personal growth. The GBA is a student-run organization designed to unite graduate students from our MBA, MSIS, MAcc, and MSEco programs. Katie Hanson, the Events Coordinator for the GBA this semester, opens up about what exactly the GBA is, how it serves our students, and COVID’s impact this year.
As students ourselves, we know that the best way to show our appreciation for our fellow classmates is by providing lots of free food! Whether the event is in the graduate lounge in the business school or at Cameron Park, we’re sure to always pair it with meals and snacks from local vendors from all around Waco. Our events range from playing disc golf to hosting guest speakers and from tailgating at sporting events to hosting award ceremonies. There is truly something for everyone. We make sure that everyone has an opportunity and a desire to participate in events!
GBA does more than help the business graduate students connect with each other. We also take pride in supporting our local community; both at Baylor and in the general Waco area. We do this by supporting local favorites or taking large groups to local coffee shops and restaurants for study breaks. We might also have a clothing drive or host a fundraiser to raise money for different charities and organizations across the greater Waco area. We love getting the chance to give back to the communities that have done so much for us, and we love opportunities to step outside of the Baylor bubble.
Another way that we show our pride is by celebrating one of Baylor’s most beloved traditions: Homecoming. The Homecoming celebration here at Baylor is the largest in the country! From a parade that goes from downtown Waco to all the way through campus with representation from organizations across the area, a bonfire in the heart of campus, pep rallies, and Pigskin, Baylor sure knows how to throw a party welcoming home alumni and families from across the country. With an honor like that, GBA knows that the only way to celebrate is to do it in style with our own float for the parade. Not only do we get to showcase the business school, but the long hours and hard work spent on building the float is also a great avenue to meet other students from the different graduate business programs.
Speaking of meeting people, the benefits of GBA exceed even beyond graduation with our focus on networking. GBA partners with the Baylor Graduate Business School’s Young Alumni Group in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to create connections with working professionals and to build relationships in a network that is so much bigger than ourselves. We strive to help our fellow students build the connections that will help launch their careers and prepare them for life after graduation, wherever that may be. But, our network reaches so much further than within a hundred-mile radius. We have connections and alumni that live and work all over the world!
Our events are a big part of what GBA does and unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to change the way we normally connect. For the past two semesters, we’ve faced new guidelines and safety measures that make some of our past events implausible and impractical during a pandemic. Never fear, because we always embrace a challenge. Instead of giving up on events, we’ve decided to modify them in order to make them safer. One way we’ve done this is by utilizing the spaced-out tables in the graduate lounge and serving individual pizzas from a local favorite. We have also provided box lunches from local sandwich restaurants to maintain community touching restrictions. We hold our non-food events outdoors when the weather permits, and do activities such as a disc golf competition with small teams. COVID has also impacted our ability to volunteer with local organizations, so we have had to be creative regarding how to stay involved in the community.
The new measures in place are to keep everybody safe and healthy and able to come back to campus another day. GBA looks forward to creating new ideas that still fit within those measures while sticking to our mission of bringing the different graduate business programs together. So bring your mask and your hand sanitizer and we look forward to seeing you at our next event. Make sure to come hungry!
About Baylor’s MBA Programs
Baylor’s MBA Programs are designed strategically for professionals looking to take their careers to the next level in leadership. Rigorous MBA classes taught by dedicated faculty and industry experts offer both theoretical knowledge and the practical skills required to succeed in modern global business. Wherever you are in your career today, Baylor has an MBA program to fit your lifestyle and move you toward your professional goals: Full-Time MBA, Executive MBA in Dallas, Executive MBA in Austin, and an Online MBA.
Prospective candidates can learn more about all Baylor MBA programs by visiting the Baylor MBA website: https://www.baylor.edu/business/mba/.