You've heard the expression, "Every year is different and every class has its own unique personality." Well, 2008-2009 is certainly "different" and a "challenge"...conditions that UNC Kenan-Flagler graduates have always been primed to expect in life and careers. Change is all around us…in the economy, in business, in politics and of course, in leadership. Businesses are being re-engineered or disappearing before our eyes, requiring new ways of approaching and solving monumental challenges. And coincidentally, at UNC Kenan-Flagler, Dean Jim Dean, in his first year of leading the school, is outlining a vision for our school to become known for developing leaders.
If you haven't already heard or read it elsewhere, here is Dean Jim Dean's vision:
We will be a leading global professional school of business. Our research will influence business leaders, academics and policy makers. Our graduates will be known for their effective and principled leadership as well as their technical and managerial skills. We will be a workplace of choice for faculty, staff, and students, a valued member of the UNC community, and a contributor to the welfare of North Carolina and the world beyond its borders.
JJ Froehlich (past Council Chair), and I met with Dean Dean last fall to hear his thoughts and input on how the Alumni Council could best spend our time in assisting him, serving the school and serving all of our alumni. He asked us: "Wouldn't it be powerful if we could find a way to connect and transfer some of our alumni's leadership stories and their experience to today's students, to help them develop and become better leaders of tomorrow?" JJ and I added: "And wouldn't it be helpful to ALL alumni to be able to tap into some of that knowledge and experience base?" Dean Dean went on to say that he could envision a time when students graduated from UNC Kenan-Flagler with a leadership experience that "changed their lives forever that they never forgot."
In our November, 2008 Council meeting, members began to share our 'war' stories of leadership experiences and to think about those leadership development opportunities we have had during our careers that were 'life-changing'. We provided the school with some of our impressions of how to best develop leadership skills and knowledge and some of our own experiences. After the Council meeting, JJ Froehlich, Bill Warren (current Council Vice-Chair) and I continued to work with Alumni Affairs, Mindy Storrie, who heads up the Leadership Initiative for students, Dave Hoffman, (associate dean for the MBA program), and the Dean. We have been designing some new ways to connect alumni with students and other alumni to network, share and harvest leadership experiences and lessons. Very shortly, you will be hearing more about how you can connect (or reconnect) to our Kenan-Flagler community of leadership knowledge.
Just a reminder not to forget about the lifetime career services that are available to you, including free coaching, workshops, job postings and career advancement advice. For more information, visit the alumni section on the website. And, if you could use a good intern or great talent at your place of business, consider hiring a current KFBS student or grad, who might be a little concerned right now about the economy and their ability to put to use all the good education they are acquiring at Kenan-Flagler. It is always a good time to share and support each other, and there is no time like the present to do so. And, as always, we love to hear from our fellow alumni and invite and welcome your support, ideas and comments.
Chair Alumni Council 2008-2009