Maggie Knight; Mary Cooper; Kristy Grayson
The Jesuit DBA Program: Finding Yourself and Finding Others
After two years in the Jesuit DBA Program, students assess, alongside their professors, the impact of the series of Ignatian Reflection and Formation courses that have run concurrent to the traditional content courses in this Program. While the original intent of the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series was to develop students that can understand and apply the Ignatian approach to business education in their future careers, the benefits have been more bountiful, and more personal, than expected. With most of the students still in corporate careers at the Program’s inception, and most also contemplating a major career change following the Program’s conclusion, the Ignatian Reflection and Formation courses served as a critical tool in contemplating their own career transitions. Studies on adult career changes indicate that the process of adaptation and the development of self-concept are important to the psychological well-being of those experiencing career transitions. The Ignatian reflective practices incorporated into the Jesuit DBA Program were key in the students’ discernment of their potential life changes, and the development of self-concept, which is critical for vocational development. Even for students already positioned in academia, these reflective practices enhanced and altered previous notions of self-concept. These benefits were gleaned in addition to the intended outcome of developing students versed in Catholic Social Thought and able to incorporate Ignatian values in their teaching. This panel discussion hopes to demonstrate the multi-faceted benefits of incorporating Ignatian Reflection and Formation into graduate-level curricula, particularly in programs that are naturally aligned with career transitions.