The Sorrell College of Business is taking GEEKS to a new level through the creation of the Sorrell 360 Center for Professional Life.
GEEKS, which stands for “Globally aware, Engaged with the business community, Ethical decision-makers, Knowledgeable to compete, and Successful in business and life,” has been a key element to student development within the College of Business for several years. Now, the initiative has been expanded.
“The Center builds on Sorrell College’s GEEKS mission and vision by offering professional development programs that take a ‘360-degree,’ holistic approach to career readiness and success,” said Dr. Laura Dove, Assistant Dean and the Center’s director.
“GEEKS has always been about success in business and in life. The 360 Center takes the position that professional development is about more than resumes and suits. We want to cultivate wellbeing, healthy habits, and ‘soft skills’ such as creativity, curiosity, problem solving, emotional intelligence and the like,” she said.
At the core of the Center is the GEEKS360 course sequence. Students will take three one-hour courses during each of their freshmen, sophomore and junior years covering Orientation to the Sorrell College, Business Writing and Professional Development. Senior Center students will take a three-hour course in Business and Society that emphasizes ethical leadership and decision-making. In addition, the center will help students with traditional professional development topics, networking, workshops, special speakers and social events.
“The goal of the sequence is to offer professional development content to students exactly when it is needed and throughout the entire curriculum,” Dove said. “The freshman course will also get our new students connected with their Sorrell College peers, faculty and activities from Day One, even while they’re taking their general studies courses.”
Center students will also have access to individualized consulting processes that work one-on-one with the students to develop personal success plans in collaboration with other University offices and services. The Center will also coordinate the College’s partnership with Suitable, an app that allows students to build a comprehensive portfolio of their engagement and professional development activities and earn micro-credentials to demonstrate skills and experience to employers.
“The idea is that personal development is a necessary foundation for professional development and career success,” Dove said. “The 360 Center compliments the Sorrell College’s cutting edge, AACSB-accredited academic programs by preparing our students to be lifelong learners, collaborate with others, solve problems, and thrive in the constantly changing business environment.”