The class of 2012 in the Full-time UST MBA program began their studies Monday. The first week of the program, orientation,  is called Launch–and for good reason: the incoming class was quickly launched into intense discussions and debates on business and ethics that will set the foundation for their 21 months in the program. This orientation is more than just campus tours and finding your locker.

After a hearty discussion on the purpose of business–do businesses exist purely for profit, or do they serve a greater purpose to society?–Ron James, President and CEO of St. Thomas’ Center for Ethical Business Cultures spoke to the incoming class over lunch about the bigger picture of their education.

Purpose, balance and community, James said, are critical things to keep in mind as you begin your degree, and throughout your life. Each student has a similar purpose now: get a degree, but beyond that it is up to each to define his or her own goals. With a full schedule of classes and activities ahead for these incoming students, finding the right balance will definitely be a challenge. Fortunately, Launch week continues Wednesday with second-year students joining the class as mentors to support and guide their incoming peers, a great example of the UST MBA community.

We will be sharing more stories of, and insights from, the class of 2012 in the weeks and months ahead. Keep an eye here to learn more about life in the UST MBA program.