A couple weeks ago, I posted an email that I wrote to a prospective student. Ultimately, she wanted to know if she’d be able to find work if she chose to study business administration at Lincoln Christian University (where I teach).

Since I’m connected with many of our students and graduates on social media channels, I linked to that post on my blog and asked a question on Facebook:

LCU business students and grads: anything you’d like to add to my thoughts on this? Let me know and I’ll create a new post with your ideas.

Several graduates raised their hands and added comments and a couple emailed me. Here are a few of their responses.

…the opportunity to do independent studies. My senior year was almost entirely independent study courses which was an amazing opportunity not only to explore a specific interest, but to work so closely with Eric Teoro [the Business Administration department chair]. You don’t get that at larger schools! — Melinda Jordan, LCU Business Administration, 2008

An organization is only as good as its people, and… the business department is second to none. Having professors that encouraged me to follow my calling, even if it wasn’t the traditional degree-and-desk-job path, was huge in my development into who I am today. I’m grateful to both you and Eric for that. — Tyler Sickmeyer, LCU Business Administration, 2007

…most employers do not emphasize where your degree is from, only that you have a degree. Most employers care more about what kind of person you are and what experiences you have. LCU business majors gain the real world experiences they need while developing the type of character employers are looking for. If you ever would like a prospective student to talk with someone or even would like me to come talk to a class, I would be glad to help. I would also like to thank you and Professor Teoro for molding me into the business professional that I am today. — Alex Bond, LCU Business Administration, 2010

The opportunity I had to learn from you and Mr. Teoro was invaluable. I agree with everything you said but the paragraph starting with “Secondly,” really sums up what you are truly getting from LCU Business program that will help you in the “secular” workforce. From working for someone else in the “secular” workforce to owning a business in the secular sector of the workforce, it truly has been the character development that truly has helped me to excel. The way that you and Mr. Teoro both push us to do our projects in areas that we choose and are truly interested in is also great because doing projects that we are not actually invested in or care anything about doesn’t help us to develop our character or skill like we could if we were working on projects we are passionate about. — Danny Drewes, LCU Business Administration, 2010

John Whitbeck, a 2001 graduate, offered this as a response to the young student’s inquiry:

I would add that this blog is proof of the quality of personal instruction and mentor mentality a student will recieve. The more personal attention is extremely valuable today.

Dear __________, you are much less likely to recieve this kind of caring and individual attention at what one might consider a “major” university. Having a degree from a university with a “Big Name Brand” will only get you to the door. It’s the skills and confidence you learn that is the real rocket fuel to a career. As one of Mr. Gowin’s first students at LCU, I am happy to say that 15 years later we still communicate with one another both on a personal and professional front. This private sector professional is still getting an eduction from LCU through faculty relationship.

If you haven’t already, check out Ben’s thoughts on his first few months out of school as well.

Many thanks to Melinda, Alex, Danny, John, and Tyler–not just for their contributions to this post but for their hard work in the classroom and beyond. They are the proof in the program.