WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Wake Forest University Schools of Business welcomed 94 students from 40 different undergraduate universities on July 21 who make up the Master of Arts in Management (MA) class of 2012.
In addition to the diversity of the students’ educational experience, more than one third of the class comes from traditionally underrepresented groups, and women make up more than 40 percent of the class.
The MA program offers self-discovery, career exploration and business acumen to students with backgrounds in liberal arts, science and engineering.
“We are excited that you have decided to partner with us on this 10-month journey,” Hansford Johnson, MA Program Manager and Director of Graduate Mentorship Programs, told the incoming students. He advised “it’s not a sprint, it’s not a race, it’s a jog,” and emphasized that students should start every day with a goal in mind.
Dean of Business Steve Reinemund shared advice from his 35 year career in the business world. The retired chairman and CEO of PepsiCo said character, competency, commitment are the three common traits in successful leaders.
About character, Reinemund shared a personal story about the recent passing of a friend who had made a positive impact on the lives of many people. He said more than a thousand people turned out to pay their respects to the beloved dentist in Wichita, Kansas and people remembered him most not for his career, but for his character.
”Conduct yourself in a way that you would want to be viewed by the people you are going to lead in the future,” he said and challenged students to question themselves. “What is it that you expect of yourself? Who is the individual that you want to be? How do you want to be described?”
Competency is critical for success in the business world, according to Reinemund. He said one of the main reasons there have been problems in the markets over the past years is because some leaders lacked the technical skills to do the job. “What you are going to get here is the beginning of what you will need in your career. Hopefully it will even give you more of a thirst for learning because success in the business world is not about who you know, it’s about what you know,” said Reinemund.
Success also comes from commitment. Reinemund encouraged students to start a career journal and make entries every day over the next 10 months. “In today’s market, you can’t wait until school is over to start your job search,” he said. “I want to see every one of you walk across the stage at graduation next May and already have a job, not just a job, but the one you want.” Reinemund advised students that they would have to “work harder than ever over the next 10 months to prepare for the noble profession of business.”
John Allison, Distinguished Professor of Practice and retired Chairman and CEO of BB&T challenged students to become principled leaders along the way. “Principled leaders create and possess a sense of purpose in themselves and in their teams, and they live the kind of principles that turn that purpose into reality,” said Allison.
Professor Derrick Boone, Academic Director of the Master of Arts in Management Program shared program expectations such as coming to every class prepared, being respectful, acting responsibly both in and out of the classroom, contributing to group projects, looking out for each other, and getting results with integrity.
“If you are willing to cheat to get an extra two points on a ten point quiz, what will you do on a two-million dollar deal?” he asked.
Boone said there are many opportunities to grow the mind, body and spirit at Wake Forest. “Question everything while you are here because that is how you learn.” “The most important thing we can do here is to teach you how to think–critically think and holistically think.”
“Every one of you is capable of succeeding in this program. We want you to be successful, but it is up to you,” he said. “Enjoy the journey.”
Wake Forest University Schools of Business started the Master of Arts in Management program in 2006 to provide core business knowledge and skills to students with liberal arts, science and engineering backgrounds who are already proficient communicators and critical thinkers.
Click here to learn more about the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Master of Arts in Management degree.