Nov 18, 2008

Major Focus: Business

by Dominique McKay

The business majors at Liberty University make it a priority to stand apart from the crowd with the men wearing suits and ties and the women donning skirts and heels.

In addition to dressing for the jobs they desire in the future, business majors spend their undergraduate years preparing proposals, writing reports and managing simulated companies.

“Business is a part of everyday life. It is something you can’t escape,” senior and business major Rachel McCullough said. “I would love to one day open my own business, and I have learned so many practical applications (at Liberty) for the workforce.”
The business degree program at Liberty specializes in six different areas: finance, management, marketing, international business, economics and human resources management, which will officially be added next semester.

Senior Wendy Campbell is a business major specializing in international business. Campbell said the independent study abroad class Liberty offers has helped prepare her for a career.

“For the independent study class, I was able to go to Jordan and Israel. The trip was amazing. It was great to see and experience the Middle East,” Campbell said.

Campbell hopes to pursue a career in disaster relief work and has applied to the United States Agency for International Development, a government agency headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Good internships are a top priority as seniors like Campbell use them to secure jobs before graduation.

Clay Lindner, a senior specializing in marketing, spent the past two summers as an intern at Progressive Insurance. He has already been offered a job there and plans to accept it after he graduates in May.

“That internship really helped me to get my foot in the door,” Lindner said.

Of all the classes offered for Liberty business majors, Lindner described his strategic planning and business policy class as the “capstone” of the business program.

The class goes through the entire textbook in the first four weeks of the semester, and each student manages simulated companies while writing up analyses on where they think their companies will go financially, according to Lindner.

With many world leaders in anguish over the current state of the economy, some business majors have been left to wonder how they will be able to find stable jobs after graduation day. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 7.4 million people were unemployed at the end of last year, with October’s unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, according to www.bls.gov.

Senior Matt Hoover, who is specializing in management, is planning on getting a management position at a local bank or a large chain store such as Best Buy after graduation despite the recent economic troubles.

“The way I see it, mostly everyone will be having trouble finding jobs,” Hoover said. “The people likely to be hit hardest are finance majors and other business majors since a lot of people see us as part of the cause of this economic downturn.”

Dean of the School of Business Dr. Bruce Bell said he makes it a priority to help students find jobs after graduation.

On Thursday, the business department welcomed an executive from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation to Liberty. The executive shared ways students could apply for a one-year paid associate program with some of the leading nonprofit organizations in the country, according to Bell.

The week before Thanksgiving break, the business department also invited about 20 human resource managers from many different industries and offered students an evening of speed interviewing sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Managers, according to Bell.

While eager to help students find jobs in the marketplace, Bell does not want his business students to go into the workforce without a strong desire to serve God. Bell said he wants them to approach their careers with free market principles and Christian humility.

“We know they have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the modern workplace,” Bell said. “But the far greater need is to have the moral courage to stand up and be counted as a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

 


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