Thank You to Our Wonderful Alumni

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 aΒ  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

23 thoughts on “Thank You to Our Wonderful Alumni

  1. Impressive and always great to end the week on a great note! Nice that you got to see some of your former students.
    Yes, my pity goes out to your students for Monday! πŸ™‚ Kidding!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I m not surprised that your alumni are so willing and gracious in giving back to their alma mater. This is that part of an education at Villanova that you won’t find listed in any curriculum. I can’t imagine the swell of pride you must have in seeing former students return as successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. At times, I think you must have the most rewarding career of all, Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it has been a wonderful career, and seeing former students thriving post graduation is one of the highlights. As much as I love my alma mater, we simply did not have these sort of opportunities…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this sounds like such an amazing and powerful initiative, really a positive for both sides. i was thinking that maybe the butterfly effect may take hold as a result of this experience as well. the students have had the chance to to speak to/listen to/connect with real people, who were just like them, who went out in the world, and applied what they learned in working in the real world, not just abstract thoughts delivered to them on paper. they can see that it is real, and hopefully they begin to think how it might work for them when they head out, wanting those who came before them to be proud, (like surrogate parents), and those who will come after them, when they might return in the other role as experienced mentor. (sorry that might have been the longest run-on sentence ever).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. but it’s a great run-on sentence. yes, that is one of the goals of the program to open the students’ eyes to the opportunities that are available to them. ahhh… to be 18 again…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m just so impressed with what Vilanova does and the programs associated with the school. Can I rewind 30 years and be a student again? Sounds like the program has really taken off since its inception. I think the future is going to be more online meetings regardless of how long COVID will take to be knocked out, but it sure will be nice to have human contact once again in the future. Good luck with getting your students back on Monday. I’m sure you will have much to discuss! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Villanova has created some wonderful programs over the years, and the students have benefitted greatly. And I agree that many meetings will continue to take place online, it’s great for people who would otherwise have to travel. It will be fun getting the student feedback on Monday…


  5. This sounds like a great program. Too bad most young students (like me) don’t really appreciate the benefits these programs can provide. It seems a bit unfair that professors teach students how to be successful but don’t receive a portion of their monetary success. But then profs aren’t on the hook for failures either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As they say, youth is wasted on the young πŸ™‚

      and I think I have heard of some students who have borrowed money from investors in exchange for a share of their future earnings. I’d gladly lend money for such an opportunity!


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