Company Visit Brings Theory to Life

Nancy Lam, Assistant Professor of Saint Mary’s College’s Executive MBA course GMAN 501, Managing and Leading Contemporary Organizations, organized a unique class visit to the infamous Pixar. Normally Pixar does not hold open tours to the public, but they made an exception for a limited number of Saint Mary’s students. Led by the Vice President of Human Resources, Executive MBA students took the day from work to tour this magical organization.

Executive MBA student Brian Rosciszewski reflects, “What struck me most about the Pixar tour was the awareness and focus. All team members were focused on one thing-generation of a movie (they produce one per year). It blew my mind that our tour was done by an HR manager. He gave us a thorough tour and was able to speak intelligently and passionately about the creative process and the animated-picture production methods. It’s obvious to me Pixar truly values cross-departmental awareness and expect everyone to focus on supporting the current project.”

Professor Lam explains, “It was exciting to bring concepts we talk about in class to life in an innovative organization like Pixar. The students were able to see how applications of concepts we study in class can improve creativity, culture and team processes. For example, we see how one of the components of creativity - task motivation - is expressed in Pixar: Pixar makes one and only one movie per year and its employees have a consistent goal to make it the best product of their lives.”

Bringing theory to life is a significant part of the Saint Mary’s College student-centered education.