September 13, 2013

Jeanette Grider
314.977.2538


Cook School, COCAbiz Partnership Announced

The John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University and COCAbiz, the business training division of the COCA-Center of Creative Arts, are partnering this fall to provide One-Year MBA students with a series of applied, arts-based learning workshops.

Cook School students will participate in three workshops with the goal of opening new ways of thinking about business challenges and new ways of working together -- ways to collaborate more effectively and creatively in a manner that makes the most of the unique ideas and passions of each student.

In one workshop, professional theatre artists will guide students through improvisation exercises. The instantaneous decision making skills required during these unscripted acting lessons transfer easily to a high velocity business environment in which one must react with little time for analysis.

Industry leaders are increasingly citing creativity as the number one skill needed for standout success in an ever-evolving business climate. By including innovative experiences during the workshops, the Cook School and COCAbiz will provide students with these in-demand skills.

"We want to set up our students for success, and provide them with every opportunity to excel in the classroom and in their careers," said Mark Arnold, senior associate dean, John Cook School of Business. "By partnering with a world-class organization like COCA, we are presenting creative skills that will differentiate our graduates in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

Partnering with COCAbiz to deliver experiential arts-based learning workshops, the Cook School will develop well-rounded business leaders who combine analytical and technical business skills with authentic, creative leadership capabilities.

"As we train corporate leaders and work with companies throughout the region, we have seen an increasing need for skills such as collaboration, communication and creativity regardless of the industry," said Steve Knight, director of COCAbiz. "By partnering with the Cook School we are able to develop these skills at a key time during the students' professional and personal growth."

In addition to launching the workshops for current One-Year MBA students, Cook School leaders have been invited to present on the topic of the arts in business education at upcoming conferences, including the 2013 Part-time MBA Conference at the University of Utah, Oct. 14-16, and the National Guild of Community Arts Educators, Oct. 30 - Nov. 2.

Click here to learn more about the partnership. 

About COCAbiz:
COCAbiz is the business training division of COCA, a national leader in arts-based education. Offering programs for both individuals and corporate teams, COCAbiz helps people build their confidence, shift their professional outlook and create corporate cultures that embrace creative problem solving, innovative thinking, and more dynamic leadership.
COCAbiz programs take different formats - custom training, workshops, talks, conferences, special events - but they all bring thoughtful, social and curious individuals together in an intelligent and engaging atmosphere. Some present big picture insights to expand thinking while others enhance specific professional and technical skills.

About COCA
COCA-Center of Creative Arts is a non-profit community arts center with a mission to enrich lives and build community through the arts. COCA connects our community to the arts through programs that emphasize social and artistic diversity, economic and cultural accessibility, hands-on experience of the artistic process, and the highest quality in our faculty. Founded in 1986, COCA is a national leader in innovative community arts education. COCA annually serves more than 50,000 area residents of all ages through multidisciplinary, multi-cultural arts programs that include educational classes, camps and workshops, both on-site and in community venues; outreach; COCAbiz; COCA Presents; and exhibitions of contemporary art in the Millstone Gallery.

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