August 16, 2010

We Can't All Be da Vinci

I think the number one thing that I find lacking in the business majors at my Large State School is their lack of well-roundedness.

I think part of that has to do with the nature of state school itself. A lot of students (myself included) receive AP credit for courses in high school, meaning that by the time I enter college I have the equivalent of two semesters done, and most of those courses are liberal arts courses - the kind that number-crunching business types tend to hate.

But here's the thing: we aren't engineers! We aren't music majors! Business is a soft science, soft like cheese. Like it or not, the foundation of business isn't mathematics or physics or anything like that - it's history, it's economics, it's communication. These aren't hard and fast subjects, unlikely to change. These are subjects that are still young, are still occurring, are still in the process of developing or changing or simply happening. You can't be "done" with history - history is made every moment!

I think business schools should make their majors more well-rounded. It's business people that are going to pay patronage to the arts, it's business people who fund and donate to rotary clubs and charitable organizations, to groups that support theater and drama and music and opera and museums. I think a loss of these things, of support to those who do the free-thinking creativity that we lack in our day to day jobs is important, and I think it's important for every single business major to be able to distinguish good opera and bad opera, to distinguish a lacking performance from a virtuoso one, to evaluate critically a theater production and realize its weaknesses and its strengths.

Essentially, I'm saying business majors must be the modern-day Renaissance Person, one equally educated in hard and soft sciences, who understands the value of mathematics and writing and art/artistry. Mostly, it's because we're the ones holding the purse strings that future artists need access to. It's about keeping the circle (and the cycle) going - we can't do that if we're unqualified to make the key decisions.

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