JOSEPH W. BRUZZESI
The Kania School of Management’s (KSOM) administration and President’s Business Council have developed a great synergy in offering practical learning and networking opportunities for students.
Such great events for students do not come free. The University, like any individual or institution, faces a number of constraints – capital, labor and time to name a few. These events could not have taken place without the dedication of a number of faculty members.
The dean of KSOM, Michael Mensah, Ph.D., is the guiding light to the executive-in residence-program that hosted alumnus Thomas Lynch and Professor Leslie McNew. Mensah offered no resistance to the student group responsible for proposing having McNew spend some time at The University. If that was what the students wanted, he was ready to see to happen. Mensah was challenged in contacting an individual he had not met, identifying how her knowledge and expertise could benefit students while still being an enjoyable teaching experience and finding a match between her busy schedule and his. His drive to see the KSOM rise to the top resulted in several invaluable experiences for KSOM students and faculty that improved the University’s reputation.
Murli Rajan, Ph.D., the interim associate dean of KSOM, played an integral role in helping the students prepare for this visit. His advice about figuring out questions students needed to ask themselves helped relieve anxieties for a number of leaders who coordinated the event. Rajan was always open to clearing time as was needed out of his busy schedule to answer questions.
The events also required significant contributions from several administrators in the deans office. Shannon Sennefelder, administrative assistant to the deans, and Debra Parry, the secretary to the deans, carefully handled all of the important behind-the-scenes work. Extensive planning, coordinating and execution were asked of them because it was imperative to see the executives had a memorable visit. Sennefelder and Parry further helped students by providing around-the-clock advice and support on interacting with and spending time with the executives. Without the stern attention to detail and dedication to hosting successful trips of Sennefelder and Parry, the events would not have turned out as well as they did. This provided a chance for students, faculty, administration and executives to work as a team as well as get to know one another. When combining the experience, knowledge and hard work of the different parties in the KSOM, the power of teamwork is evident.
Students should not take the efforts of these individuals for granted. The opportunity cost and risk of hosting such events for administrators is particularly high. Their day-to-day activities do not simply disappear so events like Beyond Chaos happen. There is still a budget to balance, not to mention the capital used in hosting the events comes at the cost of possible investments in technology, salary increases and a host of other initiatives that are capital intensive.
The opportunity cost is even greater when looking at time. One cost of these events is the additional time administrators put into developing, planning and carrying out the initiatives. They could be focusing their extra time on their day-to-day responsibilities, self-improvement and more importantly, their families. They help students at the cost of these aspects of their personal lives. While a value can be placed on the capital used to fund these events, it is important for students to understand that the additional time spent by these administrators is invaluable. The administrators are selfless in that the extra time spent is not done for themselves, but in hopes of brighter futures for the students.
Students are busy with work, interviews, extracurricular development, rtunities presented to students occur discreetly, or a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. The discreet events get trapped in the continuous matrix known as time.
Taking a step out of this matrix and looking at events in hindsight is a key step to appreciation. Students should make themselves aware of the sacrifices made by the faculty of the school as a whole in catering to the infinite demands and needs of students.
Students are encouraged to display their thanks and appreciation more often. A small thank you can go a long way. On behalf of the students in KSOM, thank you to the faculty and administration for your continued efforts, time and dedication.