Rawls College Kicks Off Business Leadership Program
By: Trevor Bell
The luncheon featured the dean of the Rawls College, Lance Nail, and Tech President M. Duane Nellis as keynote speakers. Nail gave the opening introduction and said he wants to emphasize the core mission of leadership at Tech.
Texas Tech's Rawls College of Business hosted a luncheon in honor of the start of its new Rawls Business Leadership Program on Wednesday, September 4th.
“We have academically bright students, but we are more holistic than that. The Texas Tech ethic extends beyond the classroom. It extends to leadership, business and society and it comes back to this whole program.” - Dean Lance Nail
The event celebrated the inaugural class of the Rawls Business Leadership Program. The class consists of 30 students: 15 freshmen and sophomores, and 15 juniors and seniors.
Freshmen and juniors are paired together, and sophomores and seniors are paired together. Each pair of students is assigned a mentor -- someone who currently teaches, works or administers in the Rawls College.
"The leadership program is designed to bring together students who have high academic ability but also have leadership skills," Nail said. "It's designed to bring students together with mentors who have more experience to help nurture those leadership skills."
To familiarize students and professors with each other, Nail asked everyone in the room to stand and state their title. Students said their majors and classifications, and professors and administrators described their job title and role in Rawls.
"I'm thrilled that we are all finally bringing this together," Nail said. "This is a program that I think is going to elevate the Rawls College of Business Administration because the students involved with this program, the faculty involved with this program and the professional mentors involved with this program have such a love for Texas Tech and Rawls College."
According to a news release, the Rawls Business Leadership Program was created to provide Rawls students with firsthand knowledge and experiences to help them in leadership roles. The four elements of the program, according to the release, consist of experiential living and learning, real-world application, international experience and interactive personal development.
Although the program is not an independent major, the experience that comes from the program can enhance students' learning during their tenure at Rawls. The program gives students the opportunity to experience action-based leadership, which according to the release, will be applicable to all business majors.
Nellis talked about his experience as a college student and aimed to inspire students in the room to achieve their passion in life.
“When I went to college, there were some people who tried to push me into certain types of majors that would allow me to get a well-paying job, and I had others telling me to follow my passion and I made the decision to follow my passion,” - President M. Duane Nellis
However, in his current role, Nellis said the term work has a different meaning for him.
"You know, I come to work every day, but I really don't feel like it's coming to work," he said. "It's my passion, I believe in it strongly within my eternal being, and I think that commitment and passion for what I do every day is something that carries me significantly forward."
Nellis said he expects students to receive a positive experience while in the program. He said he believes the professors mentoring them will strengthen the students' skills.
"This program will complement students' leadership experiences, and they have a chance to be mentored by graduates of Texas Tech," he said.
Associate dean of Rawls Debbie Laverie helped with developmental ideas for the program. Laverie said she expects a positive experience from the Business Leadership Program this year and is excited to be a mentor in the program.
"This program idea came from Dean Nail, and I think it's a great way to target our top leaders and give them an experience that will set them apart in the job market," Laverie said. "I want students to pursue different career opportunities, and to get a one-on-one interaction with members of our faculty."
Rawls students are just as optimistic as the administrators for the start of the Business Leadership Program. Tanner Swaringen, a junior finance major from Abilene, said he hopes to gain a better understanding of business ethics and leadership.
“I expect to get a more better understanding of how to mentor others and to accept being mentored by others. I'm very excited for this program. Not only are we involved in Rawls; we're getting to be around all the students. There will be some real live-and-learn experiences, and I think that we will all really benefit from this." - Tanner Swaringen, Rawls Business Leader
This article was adapted from the original article. Read the original article that appeared in the Daily Toreador.