Similar in purpose and design to the initiative for master’s students, Krannert’s Launching Business Leaders program will ensure that undergraduates also leave school prepared for a personal and professional life built on high ethical standards, community service and social responsibility.
"In this program, students develop a personal brand," says Charlene Sullivan, associate dean for undergraduate programs and associate professor of management. "Throughout their undergraduate years, they'll learn skills and participate in activities that will produce well-rounded young professionals with experiential learning that goes beyond that gained in the classroom."
Specifically, the students will build their personal portfolios with work, leadership, academic, project and global experiences.
An eight-week class that had been used to introduce freshmen to the options within Krannert and at Purdue has been expanded with Launching Business Leaders to put students on the path to building their portfolio. The message is continued in a second eight-week class that focuses on information literacy, including written and oral communication and research.
Finally, in their junior year, all Krannert students will enroll in an upper-level 16-week course that focuses on personal portfolio assessment, résumé building, interviewing skills and professional behavior and etiquette. The students will use Passport, a tool designed at Purdue by ITaP, which can then be attached to their LinkedIn site.
"Through these courses, our students will work on various components of professional and personal success, including critical thinking, oral communication, global awareness and networking skills, to name a few," Sullivan says. "They'll learn to think and analyze and will leave Purdue with the leadership skills necessary to tackle the toughest challenges.
"They'll also work to develop their personal brand that includes trustworthiness and integrity, professionalism, personal responsibility and a drive for results."
Krannert graduates are highly sought after by job recruiters, who ranked Krannert third in a 2012 Bloomberg Businessweek survey of undergraduate business schools.
"Why shouldn't our students be No. 1?" asks Sullivan, who says Krannert's new challenge will be to increase the number of community, company, state, local and world leaders whom it graduates.
"We have world-class academic programs at Purdue and get wonderfully talented students,” she says. “Now we have leadership programs designed to work on the 'whole person' and allow our tremendous resources to have an impact on a broad range of challenges in the world."