BLP Cohort 2012-2013

The Business Leadership Program (BLP) is open to all sophomore business and Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students who meet the minimum GPA of 2.75. Information about the BLP is sent to all students, but most students are recruited through faculty and staff recommendations.

The 2012–2013 academic year was the first year of the BLP. In spring 2012, we accepted 21 business students into the Business Leadership Program. The cohort included students with a variety of interests and backgrounds; however self-motivation, some experience with leadership, and desire to achieve one’s goals were common threads among the students selected. During spring 2013, we accepted 32 business and HRM students to join the BLP as the 2013–2014 cohort.

Our inaugural cohort participated in a variety of events over the course of the year.

2012–2013 activities


Listening Events

The listening curriculum was implemented through two mandatory workshops, attending at least two Hot Topics Café events to practice the listening skills covered in the workshops, reading articles, and writing about listening in a personal reflection journal. The specific events include:

  • Active and Passive Listening workshop with Mary Bowers and Marcia Metcalf. October 29, 2012.
  • Four Hot Topics Café events of varying topics. November 2012, March 2013, and April 2013.
  • One personal reflection journal entry about the topic of listening and the first Hot Topics Café. two in November 2012.
  • Reflective Listening workshop with Melody Hicks. February 22, 2013.
  • Five articles on the topic of listening. Occurred throughout the fall and spring semesters.
  • Personal reflection journals for each semester. December 2012 and April 2013.

Guest Speakers

Students learned from established leaders through small group interaction. All guest speaker events were set up in the “fire-side chat” model where students asked questions and led the interaction. The guest speakers that met with the BLP include:

  • Rick Rodriguez, vice president of finance and accounting at Sony Pictures Television International Production. December 3, 2012.
  • Barry Clark, group vice president at Oracle Commerce. March 1, 2013.
  • Dr. Gang Yan, visiting professor from China. April 2, 2013.
  • Scott Coor, vice president of sales and marketing at Trendwood Inc. April 3, 2013.*
  • Vic Helmig, entrepreneur. April 3, 2013.*
  • Bob Loechel, business development executive at IBM. April 3, 2013.*

*one event occurred with three guest speakers

Interaction with business professionals

Students interacted with business professionals, or prepared to do so, during a number of activities. These activities helped students develop their understanding of professionalism and practice it. The specific events included:

  • How to prepare for Career Day with Mary Bowers and Marcia Metcalf. September 25, 2012.
  • Volunteering at the FCB Career Exploration Day. The BLP students greeted companies and escorted them to their tables. September 27, 2012 and February 28, 2013.
  • Attending the Fall 2012 FCB National Advisory Board meeting. October 19, 2012.
  • Touring Vanguard and CDW in Phoenix, AZ. April 5, 2013.
  • Being mentored one-on-one. Students were paired with business leaders in spring 2013 for a mentoring relationship that continues through graduation. Professional communication was discussed in preparation for this portion of the program.

Team building and general leadership exploration

Students participated in a variety of other activities that were focused on leadership. These activities allowed students to explore their personal understanding of leadership, learn new ideas, take initiative within their BLP cohort, and grow as a group. The specific events included:

  • A group meeting each semester. These meetings included setting expectations, discussing leadership and listening, and team building. September 7, 2012 and January 25, 2013.
  • Completing the NAU Challenge Course. October 28, 2012.
  • Attending to the National Colligate Leadership Conference in Tucson, AZ. February 15 – 17, 2013.
  • FCB Faculty and Staff Recognition project. The students came up with this idea and organized the entire event. Throughout February and March 2013.
  • Personal reflection journals for each semester. December 2012 and April 2013.

BLP students' reflections

“The Business Leadership Program has allowed me the opportunity to meet and form connections with many professionals in addition to providing me the skills I need to create a lasting impression with them. I think joining the BLP is one of the best choices I have made in the College of Business because of all of the doors that have been opened through it.”
–Amanda Atkison
“The Business leadership Program gives students the opportunity to not only learn, but to apply their knowledge in the real world as a means to become better listeners and leaders. One of my favorite aspects about the BLP is that we are given the opportunity to improve as students and individuals by all of the events that are provided for us. The personal and professional growth of students during their years in the BLP is immeasurable.”
–Glenda Chavez
“Why someone should join the BLP:  The BLP is a program that provides eager students with opportunities that enhance their leadership skills and give them a head start in the competitive business world. The BLP focuses on the attributes that make a good leader and offers events that help develop these qualities and increase their success upon graduation. The BLP has already given me great insight towards what future employers will expect, and is preparing and providing me with the appropriate tools to meet and rise above their expectations. “
–Aubrie Perea
“The BLP has been an amazing experience. It has helped me to grow as a leader and has helped me to make connections with other future business leaders. This is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Anyone who is given the opportunity to enter this program should seriously consider it. It is an experience you won’t regret. This program gives you more experience and puts you an extra level above other applicants to your future career.”
–Matthew Rojas
“My favorite thing about the BLP is noticing the changes it is making in my life, and the opportunities it provides for me. I know this program will only help me in the business world. I would highly recommend this program to everyone. The skills taught in the BLP are necessary in any and every profession. It is truly a program that gives back however much you decide to put in.”
–Torrey Westfall
“Any business student wanting more out of their college career should consider joining the Business Leadership Program.  The BLP is an opportunity for you to receive advice from successful business men, learn about different company environments, and grow your skills as a leader.  Along with making connections with people and businesses, you also make a connection with the others in your group and acts as a great support system through your undergraduate career.“
–Taylor Vargecko
“My favorite thing about the BLP was that it gave me an opportunity to represent minorities, such as the Native Americans. I feel that I represented minorities somewhat poorly, but the recognition hopefully allowed individuals to acknowledge that Native Americans are actually “doing something,” even if it’s not a lot. The BLP has been a very effective program. It allowed me to reach outside my comfort zone. Someone who is interested in joining the BLP should join, because members of the BLP are gaining new perspectives of leadership while making new friends and getting assistance from their own classmates in the process.”
–Tya Manygoats
“The Business Leadership program is a great way to gain the skills that will set an excellent leader a part from others that claim to be leaders. It is through workshops that we learn what it takes, but through the field trips and guest speakers that we practice our skills and see the future results of our hard work. My best experience thus far is from when the Career Development Center arranged for the BLP to meet with Top Executives from CDW and Vanguard as well as tour there facilities to see day to day operations. It was great to see the opportunities available as well as the skills were learning in action. The BLP has a lot to offer and I am excited to see where it takes me.”
–Jennifer Pavlikowski
“The connections that I have made with peers and professionals in the BLP have been exciting. My peers are willing to help me and we can always talk because of the common factor of the BLP. But also hearing from professionals and getting opportunities that I wouldn’t have normally of had to hear real life advice from successful people was extremely appreciated.”
–Andrew Furphy
“As a program designed for the busy business student in mind, the Business Leadership Program does not only give you multiple avenues for expressing yourself but it also works around you. You decide how much you would or can put into this program, and the more you put in the more knowledge and experience you get out. You not only practice your leadership skills, you also practice on skills like networking, listening and communication. This program provides an atmosphere for you to flourish in, all you have to do is be willing to grow with the program.”
–Samantha Stansbery
“The BLP is a great way to create connections with our peers as well as to business professionals. It is a fantastic experience to meet all our guest speakers and talk to them on a personal level with fireside chats and other ways that we are able to ask them questions. The BLP is also a great conversation starter with people such as possible employers or when networking. It is a great experience and I have learned so much throughout the past year.”
–Lindsay Haun
“Everyone in the BLP is willing to help one another and to just talk about their day.  It is also fantastic that all of the members in the BLP that you normally mingle with are in your class too because that way you can ask each other questions about classes that you are having trouble with.”
–Kurt Lipar