Amid a time of dramatic change in the business education marketplace, we at the Daniels College of Business recognize how essential it is to remain relevant, to offer programs that help students achieve personal and professional development in the highly dynamic and entrepreneurial 21st century marketplace. This realization is particularly clear for my teams in the Office of Executive and Professional MBA Programs, the Latino Leadership Institute, led by Joelle Martinez, executive director, and the Office of Executive Education, now under the direction of Kevin Cuthbert, assistant dean.

We offer programs that enhance the careers of experienced professionals who turn to Daniels to help them take their leadership skills to the next level. For this audience, there is no room for error. An investment in their education must yield real, tangible results that they can apply in their jobs immediately and in real time.

To achieve this, we continually look at ways we can enhance and bolster our academic and executive development programs. Today’s marketplace is without a doubt changing all the time. We must offer a comprehensive leadership curriculum that develops students into nimble, capable professionals who can lead in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) business world.

For many years, our Executive MBA program has been at the forefront of developing transformative leaders, an accolade of which we are very proud. Our mission, in fact, is to create leaders for a world that does not yet exist. Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to co-host with the Colorado Business Roundtable a Brave Leaders award ceremony and panel discussion on Bold Leadership. DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, State Secretary of Treasure Walker Stapleton, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and Executive MBA Professor of Practice Scott McLagan participated in the discussion, which was facilitated by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Energy Federico Pena, member of the DU Board of Trustees. The panelists shared their insights on leading through challenges in highly uncertain environments—concepts that are weaved carefully throughout our Executive and Professional MBA programs—and shared their own challenges as leaders.

This summer, the Executive MBA program celebrates its 40th anniversary, and to honor our 1,800 alumni, we are hosting the first-ever all-cohort reunion at the History Colorado Center. The timing could not be more fortuitous, as all Daniels graduate programs have been undergoing exciting revisions to integrate concepts of challenge-driven education. Since the beginning, our program has strived to prepare professionals for an ever-changing marketplace—one that has certainly evolved since 1976. Year after year, we see our students graduate and go on to do amazing things, and in fact, many engage in start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures. We look forward to bringing as many of these successful individuals as possible back together. It will be a fun opportunity for old friends and classmates to reconnect, and for us, it is a perfect opportunity to take stock of how our Executive MBA program equipped these people to achieve on so many different levels. That formula is one we want to continue to fine tune during the next generation of Daniels.

Throughout the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year, you might hear about some of the exciting happenings at Daniels and with our programs for working professionals. I welcome your ideas and insight, always. Feel free to reach out to me at to share your thoughts or even simply to express support.

Our journey, after all, is more meaningful because of the thoughtful engagement of the Daniels Pioneer Network.

Barbara Kreisman is the associate dean of Daniels. She is responsible for all custom corporate and executive programs, including the College’s Executive and Professional MBA programs. Dr. Kreisman has an extensive corporate background in organizational development and strategic planning in the high tech, manufacturing, healthcare and nonprofit industries. She is a trustee of the International Executive MBA Council and a board member of the DU Latino Leadership Institute.