On Wednesday night, I was able to see firsthand the culmination of Business 101, a course in Professional Responsibility that all freshmen entering the College of Business have to take. I have been the Assistant Course Director for this class for the past year and Wednesday night was the official end to it. The 650 freshmen that take this course were split into groups this semester and were required to develop a product and a company that would be focused on the '3 Ps' of social responsibility: People, Profit and Planet. Many MBAs came out to help judge the posters and presentations that the freshmen gave and six of us (three MBA2s currently on the Business 101 management team and three MBA1s that are on the 2012 Business 101 management team) had the task of assigning grades to the presentations and seeing how much the freshmen have improved over the year.
As mentioned above, three MBAs are a part of the Course Management team for Business 101. This management team is in charge of the 40 undergraduate students who teach discussion sessions for the 650 freshmen taking the course. We are responsible for assigning grades, determining excused and unexcused absences for both the section leaders and the freshmen, adjusting the curriculum as necessary and ensuring that the course runs smoothly throughout the semester. Business 101 is about Professional Responsibility and is broken up into three modules. The first module is about “me”—the freshmen learn how to represent themselves in a professionally responsible manner. The second module is about “us”—the freshmen learn how companies represent themselves in a professional manner, they learn about codes of ethics and corporate values. The final module is about “more than us”—the freshmen learn about the importance of corporate social responsibility and how a company can incorporate ethics, helping people and reducing its impact on the environment into its business all while making a profit.
The MBAs and other members of the community were acting as investors, looking to invest in each freshman’s product and company. If an investor wanted to invest in the company, s/he gave that company a certain amount of “money.” The companies who received the most money won a scholarship.
There were two things I noticed about the MBAs on Wednesday night. First, there were a lot of us there, despite the fact that it is the last week of classes and many of us have exams this week. The MBAs were happy to volunteer to help judge the freshmen projects and give feedback to the freshmen on how to make their businesses better. Second, those of us on the management team were so proud of our freshmen! Although the freshmen don’t know who we are, as we primarily interact with their section leaders, we know who they are because we grade all of their assignments for Business 101. The professionalism of the freshmen was amazing! They have come so far from the beginning of the semester and have improved so much, both in their understanding of professional responsibility and in their writing skills—it was amazing to see them in person and listen to them present, using the tips their section leaders taught them.
Wednesday marked the last official day the current course management team was a part of Business 101. I have learned more about management and managing others through being the Assistant Course Director of Business 101 than I have anywhere else in my life. I was able to take the concepts that I learned in my business classes and put them to use in this course. It was such an incredible opportunity and I am so grateful to be a part of such a worthwhile operation. I am going to miss the section leaders and my team of MBAs, but I know that Business 101 is in good hands. The 2012 course management team has been an asset to the current team so far and I’m excited to pass on this amazing opportunity to them.