Message from the Dean

Bob Wood

As I’ve met a number of you over the past couple of years, the question that I am asked most often is “What can I do to be more involved with the Mitchell College?”  I’d like to use this month’s note to share a number of opportunities.

An easy way to get involved is to volunteer to speak to a class or two.  You cannot imagine the effect that your presence makes on the students.  Not only are you from “the real world” but you’ve taken time out of your day to share your knowledge and experience with them.  These visits bridge the gap between textbook and reality. 

A good number of our classes utilize projects from companies and non-profits as part of their curriculum.  Our students benefit tremendously from this opportunity to apply what they’ve learned.  It also gives the firm a millennial perspective often missed by managers.  Many companies incorporate an on-site visit to enhance the students’ experience.

Our Executive Leadership Series hosts a senior corporate officer in the fall and spring.  Our best source of speakers is our alums; many of you have connections that we don’t have with individuals that would make excellent speakers.  As an example, Craig Perciavalle, President of Austal was our speaker last fall.  Don Keeler, one of our Executive Advisory Council members, was instrumental in making that happen. 

Beginning this fall, all graduates of the Mitchell College will be required to complete a for-credit internship.  We are always in need of companies willing to provide a place for students to intern.  Many of them complete their internship during the summer while they’re living at home so we need internship opportunities in a number of locations.

A critical need (perhaps the most critical need) for our students is employment after graduation.  I believe that our graduates are as good as if not better that students from other universities.  In this economy, it often takes an insider to open the door for the first interview.  I’d like to see us develop a network of employment opportunities for our students.  This “foot in the door” is all that many of them need to make the move from student to employee.

Finally, we can always use financial support.  Opportunities abound.  The Mitchell Moulton Scholarship Initiative matches scholarship donations.  We have increased student participation in case competitions and national student organization meetings; funds can be used to subsidize travel and other costs that are often borne by the participants.  We also have added a number of short-term and semester study abroad experiences; gifts can be designated to be award scholarships to cover student airfare expenses.  Finally, we are constantly adding new technologies and other classroom enhancements to the Mitchell College; these gifts benefit a number of students over the years.  

How to help?  Please contact me at 251.460.6902 or bgwood@southalabama.edu and share your interests.  We’ll move forward from there.  Thanks for all of your help in making us who we are.

 

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