Guest column by Andrea McAleenan, Ph.D., associate professor of business
The Fresno Pacific University School of Business has an unwavering commitment to develop graduates who not only possess the intellectual capacity, skills and appetite to survive in a competitive business world, but also a deeply ingrained desire to contribute to humanity through a Christ-centered worldview. The faculty in each of the academic programs link theory to practice and inspire students to become innovators in every sphere of their organizational lives. As we prepare our students to build their professions and their communities as well as their careers, we also promote activities that build the region.
Students gain practical experience throughout their tenure at Fresno Pacific by participating in research studies, business plan development, internships and volunteer activities. This year two MBA students assisted local business leader Craig Scharton in designing infrastructure systems to support new Fresno redevelopment initiatives. Students in the leadership and organizational studies program worked on projects related to improving their organization’s delivery systems, often having the opportunity to present their proposals to senior leadership. The signature business plan assignments at both the undergraduate and graduate levels provide students with opportunities to design new businesses with the potential to help the San Joaquin Valley grow and thrive. Social entrepreneurship is at the heart of the school’s efforts to wed purpose and profit in meaningful initiatives.
Current marketing students are designing marketing plans for the local social enterprises Light House Recovery, Crumb and Get ‘Em Cupcakes, and YMI Café through a partnership with the Center for Community Transformation championed by School of Business graduate, Alex Hussain.
Every accounting student takes part in a nationwide program sponsored through United Way, the Volunteer for Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which is designed to assist low-income taxpayers with their tax returns. All accounting students participate in internships at various local, regional and global CPA firms beginning in their junior year, which often lead to full-time job offers during their senior year. This year eight outstanding students have been invited to participate in the highly competitive summer programs offered by Pricewaterhouse Coopers in San Jose.
The School of Business Leadership Series was created to invite national and local thought leaders in diverse industries to dynamic public forums. Topics included the Valley’s emerging technology movement, leadership legacies in successful food companies, financing renewal strategies for the city and authentic leadership for cross-sector organizations. The goal for each forum was to increase FPU’s visibility in the community, promote dialogue and enhance ways for us to become a more vital resource in a flourishing Valley.
Through our students, our programs and our community outreach, we in the School of Business blend professional skills with a heart for service.