By: Randy Gibb, PhD
Dean of Colangelo College of Business
Business schools are often targeted for not properly preparing college graduates for the future. For decades, universities have been providing the same, and for the most part, appropriate business tools necessary for their graduates to land that first job. Yet, as standards continue to rise and the business world becomes more complex, colleges need to do more. Business schools will not only have to adapt to what the industry is demanding, but also to what students and graduates want out of their college education and career preparation. To meet their needs, schools have to prioritize a values-based curriculum and cultivate a sense of purpose within the classroom and beyond.
Meeting Student Expectations
College students need business school curriculum that integrates concepts such as ethics, servant leadership, higher purpose, stakeholder integration and an entrepreneurial mindset. The ideals of conscious capitalism and the free markets are essential to understanding what the glory of business, when done correctly, can do for people and communities. The free markets have allowed communities to flourish and prosper. Business is capable of solving many problems within society. How businesses make money matters, and how they reinvest those profits matter just as much.
These ideals need to be woven into every course, every guest speaker and every aspect of the college experience in order to make an impact. Students today are asking for this, and schools have to be able to provide it in order to improve the business landscape moving forward. If colleges want the best students they need to create a foundation of learning that is based on all of the good business can do for society. Students today know that a business can only be successful if it’s part of a successful community – the educational community needs to get on board and incorporate these concepts into the educational experience.
Preparing Graduates for the Workforce
Even more interesting than what students want from their Business School, is what the graduating talent wants from their employer. Students graduating from college today all have a heart to serve and they want to work for a company that has value-alignment with their own belief system. They want to work for a company that contributes to society, is integrated with their stakeholders, is part of the local community and truly has a higher purpose. The incoming entry-level workforce is conscious of their actions and of the actions of their company. They are looking to join a team that values and respects their workforce. They want to work for a servant leader, someone who truly cares and engages their unique talents. If a company wants to hire the best graduating talent, they need to articulate their values and societal impact. Businesses need to adapt to what the graduating talent is demanding of society to hire the best. After all, the competition for new talent has never been higher.
It is one thing to provide the fundamentals of business and another to include the necessary experiential opportunities that promote interpersonal relationships, listening and initiative. Business leaders across the country are asking for college graduates who can work on diverse teams with a great attitude and a strong work ethic, as well as effectively write, present, communicate and think critically. All of this leads to the clear conclusion that business schools need to move their curriculum out of the 1980s and into areas of interest around sustainability, social impact and community involvement. The same could be said about industry today; sustainability, social impact and community involvement have to become priorities if you want to attract and retain top graduates.
To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business provides great businesses students with the tools to become future thought leaders, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page.