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Check out this brief video of the day’s events.
Some things you can’t learn in the classroom. On Monday, 90 Texas A&M Mays Business School MBA students engaged in a unique and highly stressful learning experience -- one they'll hope never happens in real life.
The entire first-year MBA class participated in a gauntlet of exercises at the world-famous Disaster City® to learn to deal with demanding emergency situations. The Texas Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Disaster City® – located about two miles from Texas A&M’s campus – is 52 acres of devastation and destruction used to teach first responders the skills necessary for search and rescue.
TEEX specializes in training first responders in all disciplines and, in conjunction with Mays Business School leaders, developed a day of training the MBA students will never forget. Exercises included rescuing a live person from an overturned train car, lowering a live patient from the top of a two-story building, extracting a live victim from a confined space, moving a concrete panel with only ropes and a scavenger hunt using GPS technology.
"Critical decision-making during the course of a disaster is the essence of emergency response,” said Bob McKee, Director of TEEX’s Urban Search and Rescue division, which runs the day-to-day operations of Disaster City®. “We are excited to help another part of The Texas A&M University System experience the world-class facilities and training we have to offer.”
The students got sweaty, dirty and tired. But they also got a sense of trust and a sense of working as a team in situations which are chaotic and out of their comfort zone.
“The biggest thing that came out of today was working with our team and good communication with our team members,” Mays student A.J. Oben said. “At the end of the day – in business or anything you do – you have to work as a team. To be honest, I never dreamt of being a part of anything like this. This experience has been completely mind-boggling and it’s a unique opportunity to bring real-life experiences to the business world.”
Kelli Kilpatrick, director of the MBA Program added: “This terrific collaborative effort between the MBA program and TEEX provides a valuable enrichment experience that is unique to the Texas A&M MBA program. This one-of-a-kind enrichment experience requires students to act quickly, adjust the plan as necessary, and solve problems as a team. These are skills directly applicable to real-world business. It is an experience which we believe will equip our MBA students with leadership qualities necessary to succeed throughout their careers.”