BLP Cohort Fall 2012
In spring 2012, we accepted 21 students into the Business Leadership Program (BLP). The cohort included students with a variety of interests and backgrounds, but self-motivation, some experience with leadership, and desire to achieve one’s goals were common threads among the students selected. For the first semester of the BLP we have conducted a variety of events (see below).
In addition to the events scheduled for this semester, BLP students are required to submit a reflection paper at the end of the semester that address topics such as: their understanding of leadership, their experiences this semester, their progress within the Professionalism Recognition Program, and their progress with the career progression timeline as set out by the Career Development Office.
Also, BLP students have received multiple articles about the importance of listening for leaders throughout the semester to read on their own time. It is noteworthy to mention that students in the BLP have already started to take initiative within the group. One student has set up a Facebook page for their cohort so that they can communicate in a way that fits their life styles. In addition, two students have approached us about putting on their own BLP events. The two events that have been proposed are a service project and a guest speaker with a local business owner. These will be considered for events in the spring.
Fall 2012 semester events
- On September 7, 2012 we held our first meeting. This was a chance for the group to meet the other students in the cohort, for us to convey our expectations, and to learn what the group hoped to gain from being part of the BLP.
- On September 25, 2012 we held an optional event for students to help them prepare for the FCB Career Exploration Day. Marcia Metcalf and Mary Bowers were our guest speakers. The event included a brief overview of things to do to get ready for the career fair, things to do/think about during the event (etiquette), and how to approach recruiters. This event was in response to our first meeting when BLP members asked for help preparing for the career fairs and specifically time to practice how they should approach employers.
- On September 27, 2012 seven of the BLP students helped at the FCB Career Exploration Day. The BLP students were offered the opportunity to help the morning of the event by escorting companies to their tables. This provided the BLP students an additional opportunity to network with employers and a chance to practice professional behavior. This opportunity was not available to other groups. The students made a great impression on the professionals that attended. Recruiters from companies around the state were excited to see such talented and enthusiastic young adults who are willing to put in the extra time and effort to become leaders of their class.
- On October 19, 2012 six of the BLP students attended a National Advisory Board (NAB) meeting. The students were offered the exclusive opportunity to sit in on a NAB meeting, where they would be able to examine the inner functioning of a board meeting. The students were able to interact directly with NAB members before and during the meeting. NAB members that attended included: Debbie Fitzgerald, Lisa Rojas Bacus, Scott Coor, Robert Parker, and Lisa Autino.
- On October 28, 2012 the BLP attended the NAU Challenge Course. This event was in response to our first meeting when BLP members expressed a desire to participate in some team building events. The NAU Challenge Course was selected because in addition to team building, it included elements of self-awareness that would relate to leadership. The students that attended had a great experience and thought it was more than helpful, not only for building relationships, but understanding their fears and weaknesses and what it takes to overcome them. In all this will lead to a better understanding of how they, as leaders, can create change within themselves and others. A video of the highlights from this event can be found on this page or click HERE.
- On October 29, 2012 we held a mandatory workshop focused on the skill of listening. This year’s theme focuses on building listening skills as they apply to leadership. Mary Bowers and Marcia Metcalf were the guest speakers for this event and put together a great workshop to teach the students effective listening tactics. The students enjoyed the informative event and appreciated the reminder that listening is more than just hearing. They learned the difference between active and passive listening and how to utilize both forms in certain scenarios. A video of the highlights from this event can be found HERE.
- On November 5, and 29, 2012 the BLP students attended mandatory Hot Topic events, at which they were able to practice their newly learned listening skills and participate in an open discussion about a current hot topic. The topic on the 5th was about the cost of higher education and the topic on the 29th was about health care. The students used active and passive listening to gain insight of others’ feelings towards the situation. In addition, BLP students were required to write a reflection about their experiences, addressing questions like “did you notice yourself stop listening to formulate a counter response?”
- On November 27, 2012 eight BLP students attended the town hall with Bill Franke. This event allowed students to see into the life of a prominent business man. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the career choices Mr. Franke made that allowed him to attain the status he has today. The students found Mr. Franke to be very interesting. They learned the importance of acting on opportunities and mitigating risks.
- On December 3, 2012 four students attended a “fireside chat” with Rick Rodriguez, a NAB member and the Vice President of Finance and Accounting at Sony Pictures Television International Production. At this meeting the BLP students were able to converse with Mr. Rodriguez on a personal level. Students were able to lead a discussion where they sought to learn more about his career path choices, as well as receive advice on how to better prepare for emerging into the business world as leaders. The students gained valuable insight and were extremely thankful for the exclusive opportunity to meet with such a leader in the professional world.
In their own words