In recent years there has been a lot of talk about executive coaching and the role that external coaches play in bringing balance and foresight to the often murky world of the pre-meltdown exec. At Saunders we are pioneering an executive style coaching system for our current students through the traditional faculty / student advising system. As part of it’s charge, the Faculty Council of Areas as Saunders have been exploring means by which this traditional relationship has evolved and how it can be supported. Surprisingly a number of students go through the process of both undergraduate and graduate education not taking full advantage of this support structure. One of the tangible ways in which students can engage faculty is in advising of an ‘educational navigation’ – which classes and instructors offer a particular style of instruction (case, project, exam). I am often asked by my own advisees which classes offer real world client projects for instance (the benefits of which have been blogged on this site long and often before now). Another way in which students can take advantage of this executive style coaching is in the development of resumes. I have seen my fair share of these in various forms (most of which tend to be in the embryonic stage of listing classes, GPA and Microsoft Word proficiency) – and I work with these students to enhance their brand. Another feature of this coaching process is the development of an e-portfolio, work that has been developed over time whilst operating on our program. One might normally associate this sort of portfolio with the more creative arts (though please note – marketing is extremely creative in nature of course!) but it is equally applicable here in demonstrating progress over time (many students make the mistake of not including earlier work thereby demonstrating this journey they’ve taken). Executive style coaching for students at Saunders is therefore just another way in which we differentiate our process, and ultimately our output of highly trained practice oriented graduates, at all levels.
Dr Hair is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the E Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT.
© 2012, Dr Neil Hair. All rights reserved.