The holiday season brings with it a certain feeling of joy and happiness – an overall sense of “Life is good,” even if just for a short time. Stores are decked out in holiday decorations and cheery music plays. If it weren’t for the large crowds, you might want to spend much of your time in the holiday wonderlands of the shopping world. Many businesses also remind us of people in our communities who are less fortunate, as charity donations are invited for such organizations as the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots. As the holiday season comes to a close, it can be hard to say goodbye to this time of goodwill and go back to the daily grind.
What if we were able to cultivate the goodwill that comes with the holidays year-round? At the Cameron School of Business, we try to instill in our students the qualities necessary to be good business men and women – not simply good in terms of personal success, but good in terms of business values and ethics. After all, “a good name is to be more desired than great riches.”
In Cameron, we believe that business is a good and moral endeavor. Business generates jobs, wealth and quality goods/services that make lives better and meaningful (and provide a “good name” for the business). This is abundantly evident around the holiday season as we purchase gifts for those special to us. As well, businesses and business professionals aid scientists, teachers, doctors, lawyers and inventors in pursuing their innate ability for creative action in discovery, education, healing, negotiating and entrepreneurship. Business professionals are essential in creating a profitable flow of goods and services that are long-run sustainable.
The Cameron School also stresses to our students the importance of the greater community. Successful businesses thrive only if they nurture from within (employees) and extend that nurturing spirit into the communities they serve. After all, a long-run healthy community is a great prescription for business success. In Spring 2014, students in our Business Lab 305 course spent more than 2,000 hours in community service activities including volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity, Miracle League (sports for special needs children), and Goodwill. In addition, our Professional MBA students participated in Learning Alliance by providing consulting to local businesses; our accounting students host an Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) where they assist local taxpayers in filing electronic tax returns. These students gain an appreciation for the joys of reaching out and making a difference.
Part of the reason that Cameron desires to give back to our community is because the community has made a lasting impact on our school. Cameron has prominent local business leaders serving on our Executive Advisory Board, International Advisory Board, Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, and in other leadership roles to help foster open dialogue between Cameron and the Wilmington business community. Our CEN (Cameron Executive Network) mentors spend more than 7,000 hours per year as volunteer mentors to our students. Thus, Cameron has a great incentive to reciprocate the great kindness extended to us; to whom much is given, much is required.
Business students who value the people who comprise their “market,” understand that their role is to sell quality products to make life better for their customers, and who grasp that a profession in business is a profession of customer service and creativity, will help promote the goodwill we cherish at the holidays. That goodwill might even reach throughout the year. So don’t let the end of the holiday season mean the end of the cheer that comes with it. We are preparing our Cameron students to go into the world as business men and women who can remind the world that “Business is good,” and we’ll start at home in Wilmington.
For 2014-2015, Dr. Robert T. Burrus, Jr. will serve as interim Dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Before taking on the role of interim Dean, Burrus was the department chair for economics and finance and a professor of economics. He has been on Cameron’s faculty since 1998. The Cameron School of Business has 90 full-time faculty members and 29 administrative and staff members. The school hosts approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 170 graduate students. International students come to study at Cameron from all over the world. The Cameron School of Business is AACSB accredited; offers capstone experiences; houses a Financial Trading Markets Room; provides for overseas learning opportunities; and is a founding member of the Trans-Atlantic Business School Alliance. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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