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Dean's Desk

Beyond the Classroom

Throughout this academic year, the College has continued to focus on the importance of preparing our students for today’s global environment. The CBE Strategic Plan endorsed in 2010, recognizes as a major priority, the importance of providing a substantive international experience for all students.

I am pleased to update the College’s Occasional Essays on Global Business Education, a series that addresses the various aspects of this global challenge, written by College and University leadership. Mohamed S. El-Aasser, professor of engineering and Lehigh’s Vice President for International Affairs weighs in on “Taking Lehigh to the World and Bringing the World to Lehigh.” The Chair of the College Dean’s Advisory Council and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, Brad Eric Scheler, Esq. '74, '05P, '08P, '09PG, senior partner with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, shares his thoughts on “The Limitless Vista of South Mountain.” I feel most fortunate to be able to include in our Essay Series the perspectives of these distinguished members of the Lehigh family.

An important part of a Lehigh business student’s experience is the time spent beyond the classroom. Interactions with successful alumni and industry experts give students the opportunity to learn first-hand about the real-world application of business concepts.

Students realize the benefits of these co-curricular opportunities. Paula Loop, U.S. and Global Talent Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP spoke to over two hundred students about the qualities important for success. Her presentation was informative and her responses during the Q&A session were straightforward: Strong technical expertise coupled with excellent communication skills are critical factors that will differentiate students from their competition.

Many of our graduates locate and live in the greater New York region. What better person to provide insights into the New York Real Estate business than Marc Holliday ’88, CEO of SL Green Realty Corp. – midtown Manhattan’s dominant landlord. A real-life case study of the newly renovated Three Columbus Circle provided a “backroom” look at the intensely competitive and high-stakes real estate market in New York.

Learning-by-doing is a hallmark of a Lehigh business education. Students in the Investment Management Group are charged with managing an actual portfolio. Students consider this to be the ultimate experience of using knowledge gained through textbooks and lectures in a real-world activity.

Experiential learning took on a new dimension at Lehigh this year. A group of undergraduate and graduate students traveled to California’s Silicon Valley. LehighSiliconValley, a pilot program unique to Lehigh, offered by the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, provided a week-long intense immersion into entrepreneurship that was focused on real companies, real players, and their current real challenges.

As a College, we continue to explore meaningful “beyond the classroom” experiences for our students. We embrace the importance of a varied business education that extends to the real-world application of knowledge.

As always, I look forward to your comments and thoughts concerning the College.

Developing Leaders for Global Impact

College of Business and Economics • Lehigh University • 621 Taylor Street Bethlehem, PA 18015 USA • 610 758-3400 • @LehighBusiness