Crummer Executive Students Participate in Inaugural Domestic Residency Week

Throughout the first week of April, Crummer’s EMBA cohort will experience “service excellence training” firsthand at various Central Florida companies.

During the inaugural executive domestic residency immersion week, the EMBA 39 cohort along with six students from IPADE, Crummer’s partner business school in Mexico, will spend the week immersed in the culture and operations of four different Central Florida companies, as they study each of the organization’s service excellence missions.

The Crummer EMBA students come from a variety backgrounds – from holding a top post at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office to high-level sales and nonprofit positions. The goal of this week is to give each executive an intense week of training and learnings at diverse organizations that they can bring back to their respective organizations on Monday.

“This is a new feature of the redesigned EMBA program at the Crummer Graduate School of Business,” said Dr. Keenan Yoho, who is facilitating the inaugural EMBA domestic residency week. “This week as a whole is a class for the students.”

The EMBA 39 cohort, which started in September 2018, has been meeting once a month for three days in the classroom. This domestic residency week is the first of three week-long immersion experiences the executive students will take part in throughout the course of their MBA journey. The next two immersion experiences will both take place internationally.


The theme of the domestic residency week is “service excellence”, where the students will be studying four different companies: Disney, Orlando Health, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Alfond Inn. The students will be taking deep dives into each company’s culture, philosophy and how it serves its customers and community.

“We will be asking all these different organizations what service excellence means to them, how they design it, how they deliver it, and how they measure it,” said Dr. Yoho.

Each day the students will hear from guest speakers, such as top Disney executives, and participate in exclusive tours to promote experiential learning.

Miriam Mitchell, a senior vice president of lending at CFE Federal Credit Union, decided to pursue her MBA after being promoted into an executive role and realizing she needed more depth in financial analysis, accounting and profitability.

So far, the monthly classes have paid dividends for her at work.

“Every class session has paired nicely with what I’m doing at my job and what I’m doing in the classroom,” said Mitchell.

So far during her domestic residency experience, she is already finding things she can share with her CEO upon returning to work.

“I shared with my CEO the outline of this week and said I was excited to share the service excellence ideas and how we can incorporate some of it at CFE,” said Mitchell.

Jacob Ruiz, a captain at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, has spent his entire career working in law enforcement. As he advanced through the ranks of law enforcement and took on more upper-administrative roles, he decided an MBA would help make him more marketable in the future and also more proficient in his current role.

“I do a lot of community engagement, community work, and a lot of the people I talked to in the community recommended I look at the Crummer MBA. They said it would go well with my personality and my future goals as well,” said Ruiz.

Throughout the program, the executive students are spending over 12 hours a day together, forging a strong bond with each other. Spending the week alongside the students from IPADE Business School in Mexico is also adding a global perspective to every exercise they are doing.

“We are a really tightknit group. Last night our cohort and the IPADE cohort decided to go the theme park together,” said Mitchell.

Ruiz, a proud father of four, says it’s a big commitment to spend an entire week away from family, but says the support from his cohort, the sheriff’s office and family make it manageable.

“This week really improves our cohort’s relationship and the overall education experience. I think this will all be worth it in the end,” said Ruiz.

The companies that the executive students are studying are all high-level companies in the Central Florida-area, and Dr. Yoho says that’s a testament to the strength of the Crummer network.

“We have been able to tap into the network of a lot of these companies through our Crummer connections. This whole experience was done through all organic, person-to-person connections,” said Dr. Yoho. “We greatly appreciate all of their participation throughout this week.”