University is more than a quest to earn certificates. It’s an experience. Ask students, graduates and faculty members of Bushnell University’s School of Business, Leadership and Technology, and many will agree.
At its Eugene, Oregon campus, they learn by doing, take on meaningful internships, and form friendships with people from all walks of life.
In classes, professors foster wisdom, faith, and service in its excellent academic programmes. They spur on fierce intellectual debates and provide the principle-based knowledge and skills necessary to succeed with integrity. It’s a reflection of the school’s commitment to providing quality academics that meet the needs and aspirations of today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders in business, accounting, technology and criminology.
“Students are intimately and actively involved in the education that happens within the classroom,” says Dr. Tim Veach, Associate Professor of Business. “It’s all about being collectively involved in creating the education process.”
Small classes make this possible. “Thanks to our average class size of just 14 students, the atmosphere in the classroom always feels very inclusive and trusting,” says Italian student Alessia Righi.
Discussions are always vibrant; questions frequent. Most importantly, students know their professors care. “Each student can get individualised attention,” the double major in Mathematics and Business Administration explains. “Professors can track our learning progress closely.”
This faculty-student camaraderie is 24/7 at Bushnell. “You can always stop after class for a quick chat with your professors, go to their office hours, or even just stop for a quick hi whenever you see them around,” Righi adds.
All of this continued even when COVID-19 forced most campuses worldwide to close. With its small class sizes, Bushnell University could remain open. Compared to other students who had to follow classes from a computer screen from their bedrooms, this was “definitely a perk” that “truly enchanted” Righi’s learning experience.
Although some classes did shift online, Bushnell University was ready for it. “We were already doing it. We incorporated online elements so strongly into every face-to-face class,” says Dr. Veach. “We are a model of this hybrid of online virtual learning and face-to-face classes.”
Invaluable hands-on learning
The school offers undergraduate programmes in Accounting, Computer Science, Software Engineering, and Business Administration. Every discussion, class, seminar and lab session includes a hands-on element.
First-generation immigrant student Miriam Cristina Gutierrez, a Eugene local, says most of her business classes “have made it a goal to have team projects.” So far, the Business Administration (with a concentration in Management and International Business) student has participated in presentations about a hypothetical global business, created a made-up product to market, and drafted business plans.
“These projects have made me think critically, learn to work with others, and actively use information that I have already learned,” Gutierrez says.
For MBA graduate Shawn Carson, he found the networking events organised by the school to be particularly useful. “We would have alumni who own businesses come and have lunches at our school, give speeches to business classes, and help students prepare for interviews by having mock interviews on campus in the spring,” he shares.
Internships that get you far in life and in business
A 16-week, 135-hours internship at an organisation that fits with the career aspirations of students complements the programmes offered here. Students gain invaluable work experience, connect with businesses in their chosen fields, access professional networks, gain an advantage in the graduate admissions process and get help to earn entry-level positions. More than that, it can also serve to discover their passions and callings further.
Students can opt to do their internship at the School of Business, Leadership, and Technology too. Dr. Son Le Hughes, Professor of Accounting and Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, guides her interns through the process of dissecting financial reports to understand the ins and outs of them.
“During their internships, I explain to my students what financial reports mean and teach them how to turn a comprehensive report into a popular report so anyone in the community can read and understand it,” she explains. “Once the report is complete, students submit it to the CFO for review. Upon meeting requirements and compliance standards, students will receive a certificate.”
There is no substitute for witnessing and contributing, firsthand, to a business. MBA student Carson knows full well this is a crucial step to future success. “I have learned to be genuine, honest, not to be afraid to ask for help, and to try my hardest,” he explains. “Doing those things is something a lot of companies look for in employees. Those things will get a person far in life and in the business world.”