My students just had the best class of the semester, and I did not have to say a word (yes, there is a cause-effect relationship there…)
Today we had our annual Global Business Panel sessions for all of our freshmen business students.
The Global Business Panels were the brainchild several years ago of Jonathan Doh, Director of our Moran Center for Global Leadership. The panels are meant to expose our students to the world of international business and to connect students with alumni.
The way the panels work is that we take all of our Intro to Business sections which meet at the same time (for example there might be four sections that meet at 8:30) and combine them into one large panel session. Since we have Intro to Business classes at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30, there are five separate panel sessions. The panels consist of five Villanova alumni (and the occasional Villanova senior) who are members of the Advisory Council for the Center and have had extensive international business experience. Many of the panelists participate in two of the five sessions. The session is moderated by a faculty member who asks the panelists to share their thoughts on particular issues and ends with student questions. One of the favorite parts of these sessions for me has been watching students at the end of class personally introduce themselves and thank the panelists for taking the time to share their experiences.
The panel sessions are a great way to bring to life many of the issues we had been talking about in class, such as the future of globalization and the impact of COVID-19 on global trade.
The panelists are an impressive group of people (here is the listing of the members of the Advisory Council, from which the panelists are selected based on availability) and their passion for what they do and for their alma mater is obvious.
This year, for the first time, the panel sessions were held via Zoom. I felt the virtual meeting was at least as effective as when such meetings were held face to face. I found it much easier to focus on the person who was speaking since they were front and center on my computer screen. Plus, it made it much easier for panelists to join in since they did not have to travel to Villanova to participate. The only downside was that there was not the opportunity for the informal introductions that took place between the panelists and the students at the end of each session.
It was also nice seeing some of my former students on the panels and seeing how professional and successful they have become since graduation.
So I just want to give a big thank you to our alumni for their willingness to take the time to share their experiences with our students; I know they found it quite beneficial. I am sure you have inspired many of them to consider a career in international business.
And thank you to the faculty from the Center who helped to organize and moderate the sessions. Your dedication to our students and passion for international business and study abroad is infectious.
It was a great way to end the week.
Unfortunately for my students, it’s back to me on Monday…
For those who may be interested, here is a five-minute video that explains the purpose of the Moran Center for Global Leadership:
*image from the Moran Center for Global Leadership