Emory & Henry College recently announced the creation of its new School of Business, along with hiring the founding Dean. Although E&H has had business and accounting majors for years, this is the first time it will have a school solely dedicated to those areas.
Dr. Michael Puglisi, provost of E&H, explained that the idea to create the new school arose from what the future would hold for these areas of study.
“We have explored areas of growth which will be beneficial both to the College and to the region,” Puglisi said. “The School of Business emerged from our strategic planning process as an opportunity to provide additional quality education and career preparation for students, along with our mission of serving the region.”
In terms of the school’s mission, specifically, it plans to focus on bettering the existing programs while also creating new opportunities for students.
“From a curricular perspective, we will strengthen the programs we have in Business Administration and Accounting, and look to new programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, to meet the demands of businesses—both regional and global,” Puglisi said.
Puglisi emphasized that career preparedness is a major focus of the new school. With the hope of the new business school teaming up with companies, there is a hope that the school will provide opportunities and an education that will benefit graduates in the workforce.
“We plan to partner with businesses and corporations in the region and beyond, to ensure that we are providing the kinds of education that they are looking for,” Puglisi said. “Our partnerships will also provide increased professional opportunities for our students to develop skills that employers are looking for.”
In order to make these plans a reality, the new school of business is working closely with the van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development to make connections.
Lee Svete, Director of The van Vlissingen Center, already has many corporations on board, including General Mills, Ebay, Advanced Autoparts, and DoorDash.
“It’s all about career discernment,” Svete said, speaking of professional relationships and internships, which he feels are crucial for student success. “It’s about career awareness. For us to be able to compete for those internships, we’re going to help our students become ready for career and life.”
These opportunities are also not limited to students of the new school of business. “We plan to bring in CEOs and other guest speakers in events that will be open to the whole campus,” Svete said.
He explained that the van Vlissingen Center will help students through ensuring that students are equipped with strong resumes and cover letters, good interview skills, LinkedIn profiles, and proper professional etiquette in business writing.
Puglisi echoed the sentiments of career readiness. “We are exploring expansion of program offerings into new majors that are marketable in today’s business world,” he said.
This expansion is something that David Cahill, a business major at E&H, is particularly looking forward to.
“I am very excited about the new School of Business,” Cahill said. “E&H currently only offers management and accounting majors within the business department. However, E&H will be adding business majors, while restructuring the current courses the college offers. This will provide much needed diversity to the business program.”
Overall, Puglisi stated that the aim of the new school is to create well-rounded individuals who will succeed in whatever career opportunities they might be presented with in the future.
“Our world is changing, as it always has and will, and E&H has to keep pace with that change to remain not only relevant, but to continue to be a leader in educating students who can go out into the world with a strong liberal arts foundation, along with the exceptional professional preparation … and make a difference wherever they go,” Puglisi said.