Business Professional Programs passport to success

Program provides business students with career development and experiential learning plan | February 3, 2005

When students enter the Williams College of Business they expect to learn about accounting, finance, flow charts and corporation organizations. But learning about today’s business world goes beyond the classroom at Xavier with the Business Professional Program (BPP).

BPP is a mandatory, four-year undergraduate program that consists of a series of career preparation events, such as dressing for success, business etiquette, résumé workshops, interviewing skills and time management. Its objective is to provide business students with a career development and experiential learning plan that assists them in selecting courses, majors, volunteer and for-pay work opportunities that helps them effectively meet their personal career goals.

“There is nothing like this anywhere else in the country,” says Thomas Clark, professor of management and entrepreneurship and BPP director. “Some colleges offer some business professional preparation at the senior level, but at Xavier the work begins when the students walk through the door their freshman year.”

The program is broken down by years. The first year, students are introduced to time management, ethics/diversity and career assessment. They also have a one-on-one interview with one of Xavier’s five executives-in-residences to discuss their career goals.

“Our executives-in-residence include such people as Gerald DeBrunner, the retired vice chairman and office managing partner of Deloitte & Touche, and Lawrence Leser, the retired chief executive officer of the E.W. Scripps Company,” says Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the Williams College of Business. “No where else in the country do students get such access to such prominent business leaders.”

The three remaining years of BPP cover topics such as résumés, interviewing, career issues, the co-op experience and evaluating a job offer. Students are expected to attend a number of mandatory events as well as several optional ones.

This year a new arts component was added. Through BPP, business students have attended performances at Playhouse in the Park and will also visit the Cincinnati Art Museum. Earlier this month they attended a performance of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“The art events are important for several reasons,” says Clark. “While at the event the students hear from business leaders in that field. It’s also a good way to introduce them to networking and finally it shows the students that Cincinnati has a vibrant arts and culture scene.”