New business program teaches students real world skills

By: Rowen Gray – First-Year, English

UD’s School of Business established a new program this year: Business Wisdom through International Service and Experimental Education, or BWISE. The business students of the class of 2019 were the first to participate in this program.

BWISE was established at UD to give business students skills, knowledge and capabilities outside the classroom, which separates University of Dayton business students from students across the country.

“BWISE is having students do something, taking control of their curriculum without adding more credit hours,” Paul Bobrowski, professor and dean of the school of business, told Flyer News.

BWISE is all about “making the student the owner operator,” Bobrowski said.

There are three routes students can take through BWISE: service, international or experimental. Students must pick two of the three in order to graduate.

If the service track is taken, students must complete 50 hours of service during their undergraduate career. The international track entails studying abroad, participating in an international internship or taking an international business or language course. The experimental track aims at putting the student in a real life situation either through internships, Flyer Enterprises or Flyer Investment.

“I think students, particularly these days entering UD, understand the value of the education has to be measured somehow, and UD education costs a lot of money. And they expect when they leave here that they are going to be employed and have the skills necessary to succeed in a work place,” said Terrance Lau, professor and associate dean of the school of business. “And I think they recognize that there is only so much classroom instruction can do. A lot of learning has to take place out of the classroom, and BWISE is a way to formalize that.”

“Over 50 percent of students are doing these things anyways. It might not have been as substantial of a service activity: they might not have thought about it as much or written a reflection on it,” said Janet Leonard, assistant dean of the school of business.

The first step of BWISE is to create an outline. Students must write goals and think about what they are doing and how it will help them in the long run. First-year students create their plan through the Introduction to Business class.

“This year, the advising office was only in charge of the service portion” Maddie Collins said, a sophomore business student and peer adviser for BWISE.

Maddie helped students find service opportunities

“Students are responding very positively to the program in general,” Lau said.

“A lot of college students don’t get involved or network; they focus on what’s on campus,” said first-year Brandon Cusick, a double major in accounting and finance who is participating in the BWISE program “Getting experience in your community and getting experience in your field will show you that A, you want to be in that field or B, that’s not for you.”

Cusick said he is looking for job opportunities in the government sector of accounting, in forensics or auditing for a big firm.

For his outline, Cusick chose the experimental and service route. In terms of completion, he already has half his outline completed.

“I did an internship last semester in the fall with Catholic Social Services, and I basically did accounting stuff with payroll for a whole semester,” Cusick said.

Cusick hopes to complete the service portion of BWISE next semester.

“Freshmen are sometimes reluctant in getting involved,” said senior finance and business economics major James Calvano, president of UD’s professional co-ed business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi.

Although Calvano was not in the BWISE program, he has performed services through Habitat for Humanity and Alpha Kappa Psi.

“There is a lot to learn outside the classroom, and experimental learning through this program will really be a benefit in the long run”, Calvano said.   He thought BWISE was a great idea, especially because it forces students to look at the big picture their first year.

“A fair number of our students already do three, but [for] many of our students who are not doing any of them, we hope that BWISE will help them get out of the classroom and out of their dorm room to say that having that kind of background experience is important to being a well-rounded business professional,” Lau said. “And, it will help them get a job, too. It will give them something to talk about with employers and also give them the kind of people skills and management skills and workplace skills that we can’t teach in a classroom.”

For more information or to join BWISE, visit here.