Teaching Job Creation at Baruch

Image by Karen Cardoza, Found at Flickr: http://a.sw.io/VC72HCM

I spent time with my family over the long weekend, and was surprised to hear them talk about their frustrations with the current leadership in the American government. I am so tired of hearing people complain, but not be part of the solution. So, what can we as graduate students at Baruch do to be part of the solution? I’m only going to speak from the perspective of a business student at the Zicklin School – I hope that students from SPA and Weissman will chime in with their own thoughts.

McKinsey & Company has a blog called What Matters, Essays About Topics of Global Importance, and I recently read one of them titled “Teach Job Creation at Our Business Schools”. One of the biggest challenges our country and our administration face at this time is unemployment. If we leave all the finger-pointing about who and what caused the recession behind us and look at how we can make a positive impact on our current situation, job creation is an obvious answer. Can business students help in this area? Sure! And not just in entrepreneurship classes. As the essay says: “We teach business students to care about accounting, profit maximizing, and long term strategic thinking. Why not teach them about social accounting, employment maximizing, and the long term impact of consumers having enough money to support our future businesses?”

This is obviously bigger than a Baruch issue. This is something that needs to be built into the very core of business school education. But if we wait for someone else to do it, or blame others for not doing, than we really aren’t helping anybody. Think about the classes you’ve taken already and your specific major or course of study. How can job creation be built in? And for entrepreneurs and people studying entrepreneurship, what tips do you have for teaching job creation in business school?

Here is my two-cents as an Operations Management major: In operations courses we learn about the processes and procedures that make a business really work day-to-day, and in the long-term. But even the most automated of industries requires actual people (usually called employees), and this is even more clear and important in service organizations, which are increasingly the majority of American businesses (for more on this topic, see this interesting article from Fast Company). So, we need to learn not only why these jobs exist for people and how they add to the success of processes and procedures, but also how we as students and future business leaders can help create more of these jobs.

If anyone is already teaching this at Baruch, please let me know! And please do comment on this topic of teaching job creation, not only at Baruch, but at business schools in general, and in graduate schools of Public Administration and Arts & Sciences.

About the Author: Emily Rotella is a part-time student in the Zicklin School of Business. She writes a blog on Social Impact Assessment that you can check out here: http://measuringsocialimpact.wordpress.com/

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