BB&T Leadership Center restructured to serve business students

Nicole Caporaso

The BB&T Leadership Center in the Walker College of Business has recently been restructured to offer business students a variety of more in-depth guidance regarding career and professional development.

Executive Director of the BB&T Leadership Center Michelle Boisclair advises a Walker College of Business student. Photo by Dana Clarke | The Appalachian

Michelle Boisclair, the executive director of the BB&T Student Leadership Center, said students were previously receiving their career development services from a department within the College of Business and their professional development services from the BB&T Student Leadership Center.

These programs are now joined together to help in all aspects.

“The programs can be streamlined and combined to serve more Walker College of Business students at a deeper level,” Boisclair said.

Students will continue to have access to mentoring and advice in multiple areas, including, but not limited to, personal branding, interview skills, etiquette coaching, networking and job search help.

Although the same services will continue to be provided, new forms of assistance will be offered starting later this semester or over the summer. There will also be new requirements for students in the Walker College of Business.

There will be a new required course for all business majors under the fall 2014 undergraduate course catalog that will introduce students to basic skills necessary to be successful in the world of business, Boisclair said.  The class will help students understand the resources available to them in the Walker College of Business, as well.

Another new requirement is that all admitted undergraduate students to the Walker College of Business in 2014 will be administered a self-assessment test to help develop a career path. A mentoring program called “Women of Walker” will be implemented.

“It is a program developed to serve female students who will be future business leaders,” Boisclair said. “Participating students are matched with faculty mentors and attend sessions conducted by industry professionals aimed at developing their professional, leadership and career skills.”

Other features being implemented are professional leadership certification, a leadership speaker series and a leadership case competition.

In the leadership case competition, Boisclair said small groups of students from each of the clubs in the Walker College of Business will be asked to propose a solution to a specific dilemma that a leader might face in the business world.

Boisclair said the dean of the Walker College of Business, Randy Edwards, made the initial push to join the programs.

“When the founding director of the BB&T Student Leadership Center left Appalachian in July, Randy Edwards recognized the synergies between Career Services and the [BB&T Student Leadership Center] and moved to combine the two groups under my direction,” Boisclair said.

Emily Marlett, the employer relations coordinator of the BB&T Student Leadership Center, said she looks forward to seeing the growth and success in the students of the Walker College of Business.

“I feel that the recent restructuring and new programs that will be offered by the BB&T Student Leadership Center will build on the strong academic background that students are acquiring in the Walker College of Business by providing the necessary professional and leadership soft skills that are vital to bridging the gap from academic to the working world,” Marlett said.

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter

Photo: Dana Clarke, Staff Photographer