By Lindsey (Walker) Strength ’10
What does a cow say? Eat more chicken!
No, the business majors taking Management Insights with Professor Denise Murphy Gerber, are not learning the best way to confuse children; they're learning how to work and succeed in the business world from those who know it best: business owners, corporate executives and managers.
The class is made up of junior and senior business majors. They meet once a week to have lunch with industry experts.
"They listen, ask questions and then write a reflection paper. Some of the speakers bring little things, some have games, some lecture," Murphy Gerber says.
Diane Brosius is one of those experts. Brosius is the marketing manager of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant at the Beaver Valley Mall and co-owns the franchise with her husband. On Thursday, April 22, she came to class complete with Chick-Fil-A coupons and stuffed cows, and spoke to the class about owning and operating a business from a Christian perspective.
Brosius shared the history of Chick-fil-A and the commitment its founder, Truett Cathy, has had to Christian values since he opened the business. She explained that every Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays and the corporate purpose statement is, "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A."
She also discussed the importance of loyalty in today's business world and Chick-Fil-A's commitment to that. When Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant, there were two businesses beside it: a Coca-Cola plant and Delta Airlines. The employees came to his restaurant on a regular basis and essentially kept him in business during his first couple of years. To this day, Chick-Fil-A only offers Coca-Cola products and Cathy’s airline of choice is Delta.
The Management Insights class eats pizza for lunch most of the time, but Brosius brought Chick-fil-A chicken strips, sandwiches and brownies. She asked trivia questions throughout her lecture. Correct answers were rewarded with a stuffed Chick-Fil-A cow.
The class has met with Christians working in all aspects of business, including marketing experts, like Brosius, entrepreneurs, accountants and corporate executives. Dan Flick, senior financial planner at MetLife; Lisa Fox, owner/proprietor of Kimpels Jewelry; Duane Towns, CFO of C.S. McKee Investment Managers; and Ed Walsh, pastor of administration at Chippewa Evangelical Free Church, have all visited the class this semester.
"I love it. It's my favorite class," says John Drayer, junior business major.
But do they love the class or the free lunch every week?
The best answer to that question came from senior business major Peter Carolas. "I got a lot out of that class. It not only helped me gather some quality contacts for networking as well as showed me that there were quality Christian leaders in the area, but it was also encouraging to see that there are solid Christians in the business world."
Among a recent sampling of chemistry graduates, 83% were able to work in an internship or research experience during college years, and 100% had employment in their field or were accepted into graduate school within three months of graduation.