Emory’s Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference has the distinction of being the first and largest conference of its kind. Every year the UBSLC provides a collaborative forum for 120 student leaders from approximately 30 top business schools around the world to enhance their leadership capacities through development workshops, interactive programming, case competitions, and exposure to some of the most prominent business leaders. This past weekend February 21-23, the 14th Annual UBSLC proved to be one of the most successful yet.
Themed Purposeful Leadership, the conference opened with a powerful keynote speech from Goizueta Professor, Joey Reiman. Named ‘one of the 100 people who will change the way the world thinks’ by Fast Company, Reiman is CEO and Founder of the global consultancy, BrightHouse, a company which seeks to bring soul to the world of business. Father of ideation – a term he coined – Reiman has emerged as the subject matter expert in the area of purpose-inspired leadership, marketing and innovation. He urged his young audience to ask themselves, “What gift will I give to the world?” in order to discover meaning in their future careers.
The Goizueta team behind this “for students, by students” event considers their planning efforts to be a meaningful gift to their business school peers. As Chairperson Patrick McBride says, “I’ve already received e-mails from participants and schools saying that the conference was a huge success and that the events, speakers, and experiences made a purposeful impact on their daily lives. That is extremely gratifying and humbling for me.”
The weekend involved an intentional combination of unstructured and structured activities. Through informal networking mixers and dinners held at local restaurants, the students had an opportunity to make new contacts and friends. Through case competitions, executive panels, and roundtable discussions, participants gained foundational learning experience and professional insight. Goizueta Assistant Professor of Organization and Management, Emily Bianchi moderated the executive panel that discussed the role of purpose in companies.
“The goal of the panel was to give students exposure to successful leaders who are helping their organizations give back to the communities around them. The panelists came from different industries, held different roles, and had varied experiences but all were similarly committed to ensuring that their organizations made valuable contributions to their communities,” Bianchi says. “The diverse nature of the panel demonstrated that leaders and organizations at all levels, from major Fortune 500 companies to small tech start-ups, are considering ways their organizations can be effective corporate citizens.”
McBride also notes that, “It means the world to me that this conference is held at a place like Goizueta. The freedom that the BBA program gives to the UBSLC committee each year provides an amazing learning experience for us and an even better conference for business students around the world. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a similar conference anywhere, today.