Teaching is Their Business

IU Southeast’s School of Business excels at standing out

Jordan Williams, Features Editor

According to Richard Hadley, good business isn’t defined by management style and effectiveness, but is instead defined by people and the relationships created.

“[In business,] you aren’t only managing people, you are managing their emotions as well. Being able to understand people and what makes them tick is very important,” Hadley said.

Hadley, now a senior in business administration, enrolled at IU Southeast as a psychology major, but moved his studies to the School of Business after not being satisfied with his initial decision.

Three years later, Hadley says that he is more than happy with the change of career path and said that a degree in business is “great because it’s all about leadership.”

According to data published in 2011 by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the rate at which business graduates are finding gainful employment is on the rise.

In addition, there is expected to be an even larger surge for business management positions being offered in the near future.

Hadley said that he sees this as good news and data like the aforementioned help him feel confident that he made the right decision; however, he does feel that many students interpret business oriented degrees as boring.

He explained that students seem to rule out degrees in business before actually understanding the variety available in such an education.

“In business, there is no time for anything to be boring,” he said.

Change is always happening and is always necessary. The business world is always moving forward and new information can change plans quickly, which helps keep a job [in business] fresh and interesting.”

With some of the more popular majors in business degrees focusing on administration, finance, human resources management and international relations, students may not have to worry about employment upon graduation.

Similar to Hadley, there are still some involved with the schools of business that find issue with degrees in business being dismissed as “boring.”

“[Students] have a misconception about business degrees and it really depends on what they are trying to accomplish,” Alysa Lambert, associate professor of Human Resources management, said.

Lambert explained that when it comes to business there are a variety of different ways in which students can pursue a degree in business.

Enrolling as a business major doesn’t mean that each student will have to follow the same academic path as the student before them – it is actually quite the opposite.

“We have a lot of different ways for students to study business and concentrate in a particular area that they may have a passion for,” Lambert said.

The misinterpretations of business degrees being bland and lacking excitement seems to not have been a deterrent for students considering the program.

At IU Southeast, the School of Business continues to thrive even when enrollment is down and is one of the few schools on campus to do so.

Lambert said that the popularity behind the School of Business is warranted and with the benefits that it provides to students passing through, it is also much deserved.

“[The School of Business] has great connections with local community leaders and organizations,” said Lambert. “We want our students to find great work right out of college so they can begin working their way up the totem pole.”

Being associate professor of HR management and having much experience working in human resources, Lambert sees students with interests similar to those of her own come through the program.

She said students coming through the business program tend to fair very well upon graduation.

“Our students have a very high success rate with finding jobs within six months of graduation,” she said.

The information that Lambert mentions was reported in a 2013 Career Development survey, which showed that 80 percent of IUS HR graduates found employment in six months’ time or sooner.

Lambert remains in touch with some of the students that have graduated with degrees focused in human resources and explains that many have experienced significant success after graduating.

“Students that I have maintained contact with, they have been able to find jobs and become successful very quickly,” she said.

“This is particularly true for students who are involved in our extracurricular groups that have the opportunity to network with local organizations and develop internships. These students have been really successful and have been able to find great jobs right out of college.”

Lambert explains that there are plenty of facets to a degree in business and said that her field, human resources, is an example of how diverse a business degree can be.

“HR exists from moment to moment,” said Lambert, before describing an incident that happened when she was just an HR intern, one that involved a workplace mishap, a lot of blood and her leadership.

“In HR, you need to be well-trained and always ready to go,” she said. “You never know if it is going to be a quiet day filling out paperwork or a chaotic day with everything happening at once.”

In the School of Business at IU Southeast, there is a “common core” in terms of what information students are taught. Expanding beyond this common core, students are provided with the opportunity to channel their interests into one specific concentration.

Some of the concentrations that business students choose from include: human resources, marketing, sales, economics, finance, management, international business and accounting.

With there being even more concentrations of business degrees than those listed, Lambert said that she has trouble how students might find a degree in business “boring.”

“I would say that individuals who see a business degree as boring, probably should consider exploring it a little bit more,” Lambert said. “Business is a very general term and there is a lot more to it.”

Echoing the enthusiastic attitude of Alysa Lambert, Sharon Allen explained that the School of Business at IU Southeast is something to be talked about as it goes out of its way to cater to its students.

Being the director of graduate business programs, Allen works with a lot of “part-time working professionals,” meaning that she works with graduate students trying to further their business education while already working full-time.

Allen explains that the graduate business program at IU Southeast is unique as it goes out of its way to cater to the needs of students.

“We try to be convenient,” Allen said. “We are a flexible program and we are not cohort based like some of our competitors in the region, Bellarmine and UofL being the other two AACSB accredited schools.”

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a global, nonprofit membership organization consisting of educational institutions and businesses.

The organization is considered to be the gold standard for accrediting bodies for business school and fewer than 5 percent of business schools in the world have this level of accreditation – IUS School of Business is one of them.

“Our students have a very high success rate with finding jobs within six months of graduation,”

— Alysa Lambert, associate professor of Human Resources management

Allen explains that while the credentials for the School of Business are certainly pride-inducing, the accommodating courses and graduate student resources on campus are what really help sell the message that IUS business is unique.

“With us, you can be flexible,” Allen said. “Students can start at any time; we don’t make them wait until every fall or spring to start a new cohort. They can go at the rate that is most comfortable to them. The students definitely appreciate the flexibility that we offer.”

In addition to the school’s approach to graduate students, Allen says that what also really sets the School of Business at IU Southeast apart from other campuses is the “return on investment.”

An ROI essentially focuses on the efficiency of an investment and the return that is received, and Allen explains that IU Southeast has done an excellent job of making sure that business students benefit from the investment that is a college education.

“The MBA at IUS is right around $15,000 for in state tuition, compared to about $34,000 at UofL and more than $40,000 at Bellarmine,” Allen said.

“We offer that very same level of accreditation for less money and there really is no comparison.”

Allen said that she is also proud of the faculty at the IUS School of Business as they are not only great instructors, but have knowledge of the working world to back up their lesson plans.

“We get a lot of really great feedback about our faculty,” she said. “Many of them have real world experience and don’t all only come from academia.”

Allen explains that it’s great to have a teaching faculty that is experienced with the coursework both inside and outside of the classroom.

With a teaching staff that has real world knowledge, the content being taught can shift for the better and the discussions being become more interesting. She says that what is so great about the School of Business at IU Southeast is the teaching dynamic that the instructors bring to the classroom.

“They are able to use the experience that they have from different walks of life to spark some really great discussions in the classroom,” Allen said.

With all of the accomplishments of the IUS business school being as celebrated as they are, there are still some generalizations of business degrees being thrown around.

In addition to not agreeing with any of these generalizations, Richard Hadley is a student who has found things in the pursuit of a business degree that he might not have been aware of otherwise.

“Business isn’t just about work,” Hadley said.

“It’s about learning about people’s personality types and how to deal with people. Even in everyday life, there is a little bit of business in everything.”