The Hull College is preparing students for future success through the newly designed and implemented BUSA 1105: Introduction to Business and Professional Skills class, a requirement for all first year business students. The class was designed to assist students with selecting a major early in their academic careers, preparing for upper-level business classes, and starting the process of developing professional skills. “We want students to start thinking and behaving like professionals while making more informed decisions about their major and career choices,” explained Melissa Furman, Assistant Dean and co-professor of the course. “We designed the course to introduce students to the different business disciplines and Hull College faculty members. That way, the students are better prepared to successfully complete upper-level business classes.”
Hull College faculty members serve as guest lecturers to introduce students to the different business disciplines and to help students better determine if studying business if the right fit. A small percentage of students have decided that business is not the right fit and redirected their studies early in their academic careers. “We support the decision for students to change their majors early in their academic careers because we want them to pursue majors that best align with their career interests and personal strengths. It is better that the students make the decisions regarding their majors earlier in their academic careers rather than later when they have completed multiple upper-level business courses and could delay their graduation,” stated Furman.
In addition to the introduction to business disciplines, the students are also exposed to different business functions, career opportunities, and professional skills. Business professionals also serve as guest speakers to reinforce the faculty lecturers and to facilitate workshops regarding topics such as business etiquette, business communication, ethics, collaboration, and globalization. Professional development topics such as resume writing, interviewing, internships, study abroad, and academic planning are also presented. According to Furman, “Bringing the professionals into the classroom bridges the gap between the classroom and real-world business environments. Students learn about career options while also acquiring professional skills which will enhance their experiences later in their studies.”
“The delivery of the class is producing a more prepared workforce for our employer customers while also positively impacting the professional development and growth of our students,” concludes Furman.