Undergrads and profs share ‘back in the day’

  • April 27, 2017
  • By Guest Blogger
  • 2 minute read

Professors are usually seen as authoritative figures lecturing in class, so it’s nice to see you all out of your element and talking to us about what you enjoy.

—Sean Fallon, BSBA’18

On April 11th, Olin Business Council’s Freshman Class Representative Wendy Hu ’20, organized a professor panel titled “Back in My Day” for the students. “I chose to create this panel because we typically see professors in lecture settings, but they all have interesting backgrounds, wisdom, and passion to pass down to our generation. This was a platform for professors to freely talk about their experiences and for students to get to know them on a more personal level.”

The panel included four Olin faculty: Staci Thomas of Communication, Dr. Glenn MacDonald of Economics and Strategy, Dr. Peter Boumgarden of Organizational Behavior, and Dr. P. Konstantina Kiousis of Business Management.

With an interactive and light atmosphere, the questions evoked introspective answers, as well as fun-filled jokes.

Two of the most popular questions were, “What is something on your bucket list?” and “What was your defining moment that sparked you to become a professor?” At one point, the professors turned the tables and started asking the students questions, so the event became an unforgettable learning experience for both the professors and the students!

Take Charge of Your Emotions
One of the best questions during the panel was “If you could give one piece of advice to underclassmen, what would you say and why?” Glenn MacDonald replied,

Every feeling and every emotion is a choice. Taking charge of your emotions is really quite transformative. It’s really empowering, because it’s up to you. At the end of the day, your GPA is not what matters.

—Glenn MacDonald

MacDonald continued to explain that the high level of stress and anxiety he sees in Olin students is largely self-inflicted and usually unnecessary. Peter Boumgarden added onto this idea saying, “Don’t sacrifice interactions [with your friends and family] in place of other desires.” Many students have taken or will take the classes taught by each of the four professors, so it was insightful to hear their perspectives.

Find Your Voice
Each of the professors noticed a somewhat worrisome trend among Olin students: a competitive focus on investment banking or consulting. Staci Thomas recommended: “decipher your desires from everyone else’s.” She emphasized that students should be more “proactive about focusing on their passions and exploring areas of interest.” She didn’t want students to mimic someone else’s dream and was particularly keen on the idea of “finding your own voice” and being “intentionally curious and focused” on a goal, not a job.

Regardless of year, every student received a valuable piece of wisdom from this panel. We all realized how passionate the professors are about helping students. With finals season approaching, I hope students take these words to heart. There are more important things in life, like Konstantina Kiousis’s dream to “ride along the Amalfi Coast in a Volkswagen Beetle with hair flying in the wind tied up in a red bandana.”

Guest Blogger: Daun Lee, BSBA’20

About the Author

Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

From time to time we have professors, students, staff, alumni, or friends who are not regular contributors, but want to share something with the community. Be sure to look at the bottom of the post to see the author.

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