When I first began my career in the Sidhu School of Business & Leadership at W University, I was unsure of a future that involved teaching and advising. Eight years later, I could not imagine doing anything other than that. I believe my philosophy has much to do with my own professional learning experiences and growth.
In my role as Director and instructor for the Personal and Professional Development Program, instructor for the First Year Foundations Program, and advisor for the Enactus team (formerly SIFE), I spend much of my time and energy creating an environment where students have the opportunity to work on projects where they are able to gain invaluable hands-on learning experiences.
This past year students have worked on a variety of projects in my courses/club including:
- A “Projected Personal Finance Plan” based on career of interest
- A “Let’s Can Hunger” project where approximately 6,000 pounds of food was donated to a local shelter via donations raised by the students through community partnerships
- A “Women’s Economic Empowerment” project where women from a local shelter were taught business skills and concepts through a floral pen business we created in partnership with the shelter
- A “Step up for Small Business” project where an aquaponic farming system was built for Maer’s Barbeque restaurant to assist in business sustainability and environmental sustainability
- A “Community Improvement” project where students built a hydroponic farming system at The Lands at Hillside Farms to assist in business sustainability and educate in sustainability.
- A “W University Entrepreneurship Experience” where students hosted a business plan competition for high school students on campus, after teaching them business planning and feasibility analysis.
I believe that through projects such as these, my students are able to challenge themselves beyond their roles of comfort, to think critically, to be creative, to be resourceful, to collaborate with their peers, and to contribute to discussions and projects. Moreover, I believe it is my responsibility to ensure that each student can take that critical thinking, creativity, confidence, and collaboration beyond my course and use those experiences and skills to be successful in future endeavors.
I believe that experiential education empowers our students to be independent and successful in their personal and professional lives. I have found a great sense of purpose in being a part of their journey, which has contributed to my passion for student learning and development.