UT CBA Welcomes its Sixth Global Leadership Scholars Class

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration welcomes its sixth Global Leadership Scholars (GLS) class. Established in 2007 as the college’s undergraduate honors program, GLS is designed to inspire students who are academically successful, intellectually curious, and community-driven; it provides students with the skills to become future international business leaders.

GLS_Classes_2012 – 2015_sm“The GLS experience brings out the best in all of us,” said Lane Morris, PhD, GLS program director. “GLS challenges our community of faculty, mentors, coaches, and students to bring our A-game to the classroom and everywhere else we go.”

Students are admitted into GLS entering their sophomore year; up to 27 business majors are selected each year.

Candidates are evaluated on their academic record, a writing sample focused on leadership and interest in international business, and a commitment to contributing to an academic learning community.

The most recently admitted class of 27 students will graduate May 2015. Of the 75 men and 82 women (157 total) admitted into the program since its inception, 70 have graduated and are working for companies such as Deloitte Consulting, Scripps Networks Interactive, BB&T, Barclay’s Capital, Unilever, Nestle, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Procter & Gamble, Pilot-Flying J, Bechtel, and Nissan. Others are earning their Master of Accountancy, MBA, or law degree.

All are making a difference in the world.

The program’s structure creates an intensive learning experience that challenges students to realize their full potential. Students participate in a variety of experiential activities that enhance their global awareness, academic and non-academic engagement, and professionalism.

“The GLS program provides the college with an opportunity to experiment with teaching and learning ideas,” continued Morris. “GLS is an idea-incubator—a test-bed—for the rest of the college. We want the GLS learning experience to spill over to every student in the college. That’s really important to us.”

During the spring semester of their sophomore year, GLS students travel to London for a unique semester-long international experience. They complete honors coursework with in-residence UT faculty and immerse themselves in the business and cultural environment of one of the world’s leading financial centers.

The piece de resistance of the GLS London program is the students’ seven-week London internships with high-profile, global organizations such as Zurich Financial Services, Citibank, Maxus Global Media, the Fulbright Commission, and DLA Piper. GLS students even have interned with members of Parliament.

“These internship placements are designed to leverage the students’ interests while enabling them to develop and hone professional skills in an international context,” said Morris.

“The GLS London experience has been the highlight of my two years at UT,” said Nate Massey, GLS Class of 2014. “During my four months in the United Kingdom, I grew personally, educationally, and professionally. Through my internship at Zurich Financial Services, I was able to dive into the corporate world and really experience a working environment. I never would have thought that I could learn and grow so much in such a short period of time.”

Dan Whitaker, a member of the GLS Class of 2013, interned at the Parliament in 2011. He said: “GLS has been, by far, the most defining experience of my college years. It has pushed me to the limit intellectually and given me the chance to interact in a close community of some of the most intelligent and talented students and faculty at the university.  

“The awe-factor of working in Parliament was both very exciting and daunting. I interacted with Angus MacNeil, member of Parliament for the Northwestern Isles of Scotland, as well as other members and lords every day. The research I did impacted how Mr. MacNeil and other members of the Scottish National Party set their policy and voted. I researched past legislation, monitored the media, and conducted economic forecasts, to name just a few of my experiences. 

“I do not believe that I would have been afforded the opportunities that I have had since nor do I think I would have been as successful without GLS and my work in Parliament.”

GLS students engage in other curricular and co-curricular activities throughout their three years in the program, including:

· an integrated honors curriculum with a dual concentration in international business.

· a comprehensive leadership curriculum that exposes students to thought-provoking business leaders through the college’s Executive-in-Residence program.

· completion of an honors thesis in each student’s area of study that helps students gain valuable experience in data analysis, research design, methodologies, and delivery. Students also represent the college at a university-wide undergraduate research symposium.

· business site visits throughout the Southeast United States.

Said Jan Williams, dean of UT’s College of Business Administration: “The Global Leadership Scholars program is a unique opportunity for a select set of UT business students.  It is designed to be the best of both worlds—an individually tailored program delivered at a large, comprehensive university.  After five years of experience, we are extremely pleased with the success of GLS and its emphasis on international business and the development strong leadership skills.  GLS students have many of the benefits they would have at a small college while having access to the wide range of activities and opportunities available at the University of Tennessee.  

“The three graduating GLS classes have gone out from UT into a wide range of business, government, and educational opportunities that build on the strong educational foundation they received in the program.  We look forward to continuing the success of this program.”

Because of the enormous benefits that the GLS program offers the college, GLS has become a strategic development initiative of the college.

“The financial need is high for our GLS students,” commented Morris. “The percentage of these students whose families have adjusted gross incomes below $40,000 is greater than that represented throughout the college.”

For more information on this development initiative, please contact Chip Bryant, senior director of development, at bryant00@utk.edu.

For more information on the Global Leadership Scholars program, please visit http://bus.utk.edu/undergrad/global_leadership/index.htm.

About University of Tennessee

Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN
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