This past Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend the community forum as a member of the Student Senate – specifically, as a representative for business management. My overall thoughts on events like this are that they are a wonderful way to learn what is going on within our NJIT community as well as share and express thoughts and ideas. A common factor I noticed in some of the responses from both Dr. Deek and Dr. Bloom was that many of the good things that have recently happened at our institution have been the result of ground up movements, and necessarily so.
A large movement, and one that is on the cusp of doing big things, is that which is going on inside the School of Management. There is a shared desire to grow and succeed both individually and as a team. At the core of this movement is a student body that is not afraid of a challenge. Students have taken the initiative to resurrect and reorganize an almost nonexistent business club that has done little to nothing in recent years past. In less than a month they have acquired over 40 new members and are working on events as well as reaching out to the business community in order to learn more than what can be taught within the four walls of a classroom.
The movement does not stop there. In fact, it has only begun. For all the things we as NJIT students complain about, one thing we have in the SOM that is fairly hard to find elsewhere is a body of professors who seem to genuinely care about their students. While there are a few professors here that are mediocre at best, they are in the minority. More often than not, professors are actually exceptional and more than willing to go out of their way to help. In fact, some professors are reaching out to their network of business professionals to bring internship opportunities to their students. There is Professor Passerini, working hard to help prepare students for the PMP exam, and Professors Yan, DiCostanzo, Ehrlich, and Schoenbeck, who bring a wealth of finance and accounting knowledge and go far beyond what is required of them by introducing us to various tools and groups like the Bloomberg Terminal, the BAT and NYSSA. There is Professor Wagner, who brings a refreshing change to the monotony of management courses by sharing his vast understanding of the ins and outs of business, an understanding that can only be gained from decades in the industry. All these people share a common desire to prepare their students for success in the business community.
While this has everything required for a ground up movement, there is still more. The SOM has an advisor and an administration that understands the value of a unified front and a common goal. Associate Dean Dr. Axe and Undergraduate Program Manager Michael Sweeney are constantly looking for feedback on how to better the program while also assisting and advising students on courses and scheduling. They too share some of the students’ sentiments and are optimistic about the future.
We almost have all the ingredients necessary to take the SOM to the next level. What we need is help from the top. I’m not sure what form of help this is, but I am confident that as a team, with careful planning and execution, we can take our business school to where it belongs and put it on par with our mathematics, engineering, science and technology departments. I have heard that after the SOM was established in 1988, NJIT spent the next 10 years asking why. I also heard that they spent the next 10 years trying to figure out what to do with it. What this means is that NJIT has put together a tremendous program in a very short period of time. If the last 25 years of the SOM have shown us anything, it is that we are here to stay. We are capable of putting together strong programs and we turn out business graduates who go on to be very successful in their respective fields. We know we are as good as many of the other business schools around us. In some instances we may even be better because of a strong base in technology. Let’s do what is necessary to show the rest of the world how good we are. Let’s put our business school on the map. Let’s make our business school a destination. Let’s build our School of Management.