The last six months have passed by in a whirlwind of activity for me. I have been in just about every corner of the United States, meeting alumni and reconnecting with many of my old students along the way.
As I’ve learned about their lives and careers, I’ve been struck by the many ways Smith alumni have been entrepreneurial. Some start their own businesses, like the young founders of BuzzTable. Others have started new endeavors within large corporations, or within the context of their industries.
I have come to realize that many alumni have discovered their own unique ways to venture out and express their entrepreneurial spirit. People told me that Smith helped set them on their path by teaching them how to apply what they were learning in the classroom.
As I work on a strategic road map for the next few years, I place a priority on bringing even more experiential learning opportunities to Smith students. Business school provides a great opportunity for students to take risks and explore creative solutions to complex problems, especially in “learning-by-doing” activities like living cases and consulting projects.
These kinds of experiences build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in a much more powerful way than classroom lectures alone. The complexity of today's global business environment requires systems-based approaches that take into account the myriad factors that influence any corporate decision. Having the opportunity to grapple with real-world problems — and experiment with solutions — here at the Smith School will give students the best start for their own extraordinary careers.
Providing these experiences will require even more engagement with you, our alumni. We will need to work with your companies to create consulting projects, living cases, internships, and other opportunities for experiential learning. I look forward to working with you!