While most students were moving back to Aggieland and enjoying the festivities of Gig “Em Week, 26 undergraduate students in the Department of Information and Operations Management spent three days with their peers at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas at a retreat hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS). The purpose of the retreat was to boost students’ leadership skills, enhance their teamwork capabilities and give them the opportunity to meet recruiters from major companies.

Students took part in leadership and team-building exercises during the retreat.
Students took part in leadership and team-building exercises during the retreat.

The CMIS Leadership Retreat ensures that students gain a head start in their future careers by helping them become comfortable with the process of the job hunt. Former Aggies gave leadership development presentations focusing on topics such as diversity in the workplace, financial management and social networking, sharing career advice and real-world experience that was learned both on the job and at Texas A&M University. Although the talks gave students a glimpse into the future, students were challenged to further develop their knowledge in these topics while still in college.

On the last night of the retreat, students were able to celebrate the friendships made and the accomplishments of the retreat over dinner and ice cream with corporate representatives from many different companies across the state of Texas. Many representatives were fellow Ags who were able to easily relate to the students in their experiences. The social event was an opportunity to meet recruiters in an informal setting, giving students an advantage by allowing them to meet and build a rapport with career fair representatives before the event.

The annual CMIS Leadership Retreat is held at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.
The annual CMIS Leadership Retreat is held at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.

Students attending the retreat participated in several different team-building exercises, ranging from icebreaker games to outdoor activities such as the ropes course and the giant swing. All activities focus on the importance of team building, teamwork and leadership. Students gained practical knowledge in these areas; knowledge they can use for events such as the annual CMIS Case Competition as well as their respective professional careers.

Outside of the professional-centered activities, there were opportunities for students to socialize with one another: taking a dip in the pool, tie-dyeing t-shirts, and playing ping pong; just to name a few.

Although CMIS hosted the retreat, students had a hand in planning the retreat. The student planning committee helped choosing topics for presenters, which speakers would be brought in to speak about such topics, and even the design of the t-shirts.

Students gained invaluable information about life after college and built lasting friendships, all while having a great time, making the eighth annual CMIS Leadership Retreat a true success.