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CJ Thompson '16 MBA talks about her experience in the Part-time MBA program.

The Road to Inspiring Leadership

CJ Thompson '16 MBA, was so inspired by a leadership class that she and a small group of alumni created their own development group modeled after the teachings. Every month they gather together on the Minneapolis campus to socialize and support one another.

Ertugrul Tuzcu is the facilitator of the “True North” leadership groups at the Opus College of Business. Students participate in active-learning projects, which helps them become aware of their unconscious biases. Through short and long term visioning for their lives, MBA students learn how to make changes and improvements in their leadership, personal behaviors and competencies. 

Authentic leadership is the core of his teaching philosophy: “Students all come with a certain level of IQ that's God-given. But how do you really build upon emotional intelligence in all areas of life?”

“MBA students learn all kinds of functional business expertise in finance, marketing, operations and accounting," he continues. "I look at those as bricks. But if you want to build a wall, the bricks alone aren't enough. You need to have cement. That’s leadership.”

Tuzcu hosts many distinguished guest speakers to talk about their leadership journeys and conduct Q&A sessions with the students. His students also write a personal development paper with a 15-year vision for living their best life.

His Executive Perspectives class left a big impact on Thompson. So much so that she and a classmate formed their own True North Group in 2018. “We liked the idea of keeping the magic going as part of our MBA.”

Seven out of eight members are from the Full-time and Part-time MBA programs. Each month the group tackles prescribed topics of what it takes to inspire others. “I’ve found that the group setting has helped me become a more self-aware leader."

The closeness of the group is palpable. Despite their distances, they make time for each other. Reuben Thompson-Amarteifio '16 MBA, even flies back to Minnesota every month from California to attend the meetings.

“I feel proud of the space we created for honest and in-depth conversations,” Thompson says. “We share our challenges and principles to become better leaders. It's been such a meaningful way for all of us to grow beyond the classroom.”