Dear GWSB Community,
Having experienced my first Colonials Weekend, I now feel like a full-fledged member of the Buff & Blue!
What a terrific celebration of the GW spirit! There was so much activity and positive energy on campus during the three-plus days of Colonials Weekend. I very much enjoyed being on hand to welcome alumni back to campus and to meet and greet so many students’ families, who were also here for the festivities.
I am especially proud that we used the opportunity to showcase some of the remarkable initiatives that make GWSB a unique, forward-looking business education institution. Among the highlights was the F. David Fowler Career Center’s inaugural Finance and Real Estate Careers Summit, a day-long presentation of practical and professional information on what it takes to succeed in these dynamic, in-demand fields, built around GWSB’s unique Communities of Practice (CoP) approach to making its students career-ready. I also attended a reception for the successful Consulting CoP which has helped our student placements with companies such as Facebook and BCG.
Although it wasn’t an official part of Colonials Weekend, the GW Capital Markets Program (offered in partnership with the Milken Institute and the IFC) luncheon event on Thursday, October 26, put the spotlight on another “only-at-GW” initiative. The Capital Markets Program, which was launched in 2016, combines coursework and hands-on workshops to prepare financial professionals from developing and emerging economies to initiate policies to promote economic growth in their home countries. It’s an excellent example of the type of program that sets GW apart: an internationally focused public/private-sector partnership within an academic setting in our nation’s capital. It was inspiring to see the program’s 2018 fellows.
Colonials Weekend also included a less-public, more behind-the-scenes, but nonetheless important, component, the meeting of the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. The meeting was a great success. We are fortunate to have a group of such insightful, dedicated individuals who are willing to give so generously of their time and talents to help us do our job of making GWSB the best it can be.
For me, one of the best parts of Colonials Weekend was hosting Friday night’s welcome reception, which was dedicated to honoring some of GWSB’s most accomplished alumni by sharing with them a photo of their image that we proudly have hanging on the banners in Duquès Hall. I am always impressed that so many of our graduates have gone on to achieve great success in so many different fields. I am even more impressed by their commitment to GWSB as evidenced by their dedication to sharing in that success by giving back to the school.
I have often talked about how GWSB faculty, students, alumni and staff communicating and working together are essential to our continued success as a school. My opportunity to meet with students’ parents at the Saturday morning family breakfast — and the fact that I am a parent of a GW freshman myself — reminded me that GWSB parents are also important team members in all that we do for our students. It was great to meet some of them and get their input.
I believe that in the aftermath of a very successful Colonials Weekend, we have now arrived at a turning point for GWSB. We know what we can do — and we’ve done a good job of letting the world know what we can do; now it’s time to pivot to exploring how we can do it better. We can’t afford to rest on our laurels. We need to continually maintain our focus on putting students’ interests first in all that we do. That means we need to continue to question the way things “have always been done,” and take true measure of the modern business environment and the demands of the modern business education marketplace. As we seek to constantly improve student experience and outcomes, we need to be flexible, adaptive and willing to embrace change. We have the right outlook and people we need to do the job — and working together, I know we can get it done. Please stay tuned as we announce some new initiatives for our students and alumni soon.
See you around campus — or in New York or Houston this month!
All the best,
Anuj Mehrotra, Ph.D.