This time of year is an exciting one for students, parents, faculty and staff, and me personally as the new incoming Dean of the Williams School of Business. I am proud to join a community that truly cares for its students. I see signs of this caring culture everywhere: staff members responding warmly to students and doing their best to help them, devoted professors taking time to discuss issues with students, alumni giving back to their university in numerous ways, and administrators understanding the value of having small classes despite the financial challenges that it represents. BU is a good place to live but it is foremost a good place to study. As students preparing for the upcoming year, I have some advice which I hope will help you get the most of your experience at the Williams School and Bishop’s University.
1. Engage in your own intellectual development
Our programs have a lot to offer. More than 80% our courses are taught by full-time professors and the remainder benefit from the practical input of expert part-time lecturers. By requiring that a minimum of ten courses be taken outside of the Williams School, we offer you the unique opportunity to explore a variety of perspectives, interests, and ideas. I encourage you to develop a culture of openness to learning and discussing ideas. Your years at BU may determine the working opportunities that will lie ahead or the admission to a Master’s program to pursue your intellectual endeavors. I encourage you to dedicate yourself to your studies and to appreciate the value of your time and effort.
2. Engage in your own social development
BU welcomes students from 43 countries and is surrounded by the warm community of Lennoxville. I encourage you to openly engage with people from different social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds and to experience a greater diversity of thought. I also encourage you to build good networks while you are here, to help each other and develop sound friendships. Some of you will develop partnerships and start new businesses, others will become long-lasting friends and even marry. Make it count!
3. Realize that you are from now on a BU ambassador
By becoming a BU student, you represent to the external world what BU is all about. I encourage you to embrace BU’s values which are integrity, mutual respect, collegiality, curiosity, creativity, innovation and a deep engagement in the life of the University, among others. These values are for life and provide a valuable foundation for a career in the business world.
Looking at the upcoming year, I see with satisfaction that all the ingredients for success are there: highly qualified professors and experienced part-time lecturers, high caliber students, small classes for optimal interactions, high quality student services, a caring culture, and a good weather forecast to enjoy the rest of the summer and start school in a great state of mind. I look forward to welcoming you to the Williams School of Business for the start of this new school year.
Alexander McKelvie '99
McKelvie is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, one of the top-ranked universities in Entrepreneurship in the US. He earned his PhD in 2007 from Jönköping International Business School in Sweden. He has published widely in leading entrepreneurship and management journals on topics concerning new firm growth and innovation. In 2008, he received the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) best doctoral dissertation award within the field of Entrepreneurship as well as a 'Research Promise' Award from the Academy of Management. Alex says, "BU was a huge factor in my development. I believe that BUs teaching philosophy on critical thinking and challenging the status quo really has helped me to ask more interesting research questions and bring in new approaches to understanding problems".