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Beyond the News

Students Look the Part for Learning 9-to-5 Skills

University Business, Feb 2013

Starting this fall, full-time students enrolled in Wake Forest University’s (N.C.) Master of Arts in Management (M.A.) Program won’t be able to roll out of bed and rush to class. Instead they will be required to be in school from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the weekday to learn real-world responsibility and accountability.

“We saw the need to educate these very bright students who have the technical business skills, but haven’t been exposed to the soft skills,” says Derrick Boone, associate dean of the 10-month program for liberal arts majors. “We want them to get into the business mindset and ask them to think of the M.A. program as a start to their careers.”

The idea of requiring a 9-to-5 mindset came about after meeting with and receiving feedback from companies and employers of recently hired WFU students. “We asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to enhance the education of our students?,’” Boone says. “Along with traditional business skills, students need to learn to be professional, how to dress, be on time, and how to interact with a boss. This will enhance their careers in the long run.”

During the program, students won’t be in a traditional classroom during the entire 9-to-5 day, as there will also be time to work in smaller teams, attend guest speaker lectures and workshops, and have mentorships with local businesses off campus. They will be asked to dress in business attire and to think of professors and staff as managers.

Sylvia Green, director of marketing and communications for the business school, says the 9-to-5 requirement coincides with the program moving into a brand new building that will appear more like a business environment. “The building has been designed to have a lot of collaborative spaces and will allow for more student and faculty interaction.”