This year the Rankin College of Business re-established its Business Advisory Council and started a new Emerging Leader Council. These councils complement the work done by the existing Student Advisory Board. The councils all work to support students and faculty at the college.
Mike Dumas, 1979 graduate of SAU’s marketing program, and executive vice president and chief financial officer of Houston-based Intermarine LLC, serves as chair of the Business Advisory Council.
“The Rankin College of Business has been instrumental in my life,” Dumas said.
Dumas is a long-time supporter of Southern Arkansas University- supporting the alumni group in Houston, establishing scholarships and internship opportunities for students, and most recently being named to Southern Arkansas University’s Foundation Board. However, he was looking for more ways to get involved.
Dumas expressed interest in re-establishing the RCB Business Advisory Council a few years ago. When Dr. Robin Sronce was appointed Dean that became a reality, he said.
“She took the initiative and approached me,” Dumas said.
Sronce worked with Dr. David Rankin to reach out to several individuals who could serve, and the advisory group had their first meeting last fall.
“It’s really going to take on a whole new meaning for the College of Business,” Dumas said.
Dumas hopes the Council will play an integral role in connecting graduates with the business community in southwest Arkansas and beyond.
“As the connections grow so will the level of involvement from business leaders in the University,” he added. “That involvement can be in the form of giving, mentoring, and simply just providing the Rankin College of Business with information about what we as employers need from their graduates.”
“It’s important for there to be that direct line of communication between the University and the business world,” he said.
Rankin’s new Emerging Leader Council, has a similar mission. Composed of more recent alumni this group provides information to the faculty and students about the transition from college to career.
Dr. Sronce asked SAU Rankin College of Business alumni, Stephen Zorsch to chair the Council.
Zorsch, a successful longstanding agent at Farm Bureau Insurance in Magnolia, is tasked with making sure the council meets on a regular basis and realizes their goals and mission as it relates to the College of Business.
“Our goal is, number one, to provide feedback to the University as it relates to their learning goals and their graduates,” Zorsch said. “Our goal is to help them continue to adequately prepare their graduates for the needs of today’s workforce.”
The group met for the first time in November and already has a series of mock interviews scheduled with students this spring.
“As a group, we realized there was a need to help students prepare for the interview types and questions they may experience in their job searches,” Zorsch added. “We’ve all had experiences with different types of interviews, some we were prepared for, others we weren’t. Our goal with the mock interviews is to have students experience and succeed in different types of interview scenarios.”
The Emerging Leader Council enlisted the help of several additional industry professionals and will simulate one on one interviews, group interviews and will also work with students on the answers and experience today’s employers expect to learn about in an interview.
The Council also plans to assist the College with its new Living Learning Community, RCBiz, this fall.
In addition to these organizations, RCB has a well-established Business Student Advisory
This group of students is selected by faculty and helps develop better relationships between students, faculty and administration as well as promote leadership development and positive interaction between students, businesses and the community. Senior marketing student, Wilson Impson serves as the Business Student Advisory Council president.
Alumni and business professionals interested on serving on one of these councils should contact Dean Sronce, firstname.lastname@example.org.