Know Where You Are Going

Zig Ziglar on

It's time for some good news, and the good news is that the young men and women who are enrolling in Florida A&M and going on to get their MBAs are supported not only by their parents and teachers, but also by corporations. Everyone involved stands to reap huge benefits.

This predominantly African American university, under the leadership of business school dean Dr. Sybil Mobley, has a program that produces exciting results. She solicits large corporate donations ($100,000) for a spot on the university's "big board," which contains a large display of corporate logos. Then, she invites the CEOs to spend full days at the school, where they meet with students and appear on a student-run TV show called "Today's Leaders Face Tomorrow's." In the process, she pushes for internships and summer faculty jobs.

This is a win/win situation. The students come face-to-face with the real world of business, and the corporations build relationships with the school and the students. When these graduates enter the business world, they have already been immersed in business and corporate culture since their freshman year, and the benefits are significant.

Florida A&M's MBA program has been profiled in Fortune and Time magazines for its pragmatic approach to business education, and the students have been given high praise. Mobley says she wants the students to be able to "hit the ground running." In a tight job market, the corporate world benefits by getting quality candidates early, and the students benefit by going directly from a hands-on learning experience into the corporate world.

Ed Yanston, director of employment and diversity at Texaco, points out that "many of the best and brightest black students choose predominantly black schools rather than the Ivy Leagues. A lot of it is educating people about where the best schools are and focusing on finding the best students at those schools."

Florida A&M and the business community are working together in a logical and effective way. However, in order for America to be the nation she is capable of being, we've got to start much earlier than recruiting the best students for college. It really starts in the home. The first great teachers any child has are parents. Unfortunately, 23 million children today are living in homes where there is no father, so the male role model is missing. Regrettably, even "TV families" present very few positive father images, so, in far too many cases, the mother is left trying to fill both roles on her own.


Fortunately, there are programs that can help fill in the gap. Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs, the Scouts, Four-H and other academic and civic programs are available in many areas. Teachers also support parents in their efforts to educate and develop children. The best way to connect with your child's teacher is to become better acquainted. Sometimes, that's very difficult to do because of harried schedules, but without exception teachers agree that when a parent calls or visits them, it indicates the parent is genuinely interested in better education and in working with the school.

If parents teach the child civility, manners and the importance of working hard and playing well with others, the teacher can do a better job of teaching. When the child moves from grade school to middle school, if parents make certain the kids have been taught how to form proper friendships and how to avoid the drug crowd and troublemakers, major problems will be avoided. For the transition to high school, the parents' ongoing interest, communicated to both child and teacher, makes the transition smoother, and a top student will likely be the result. If a parent is able to accomplish the above, there will be several universities interested in his or her student.

It's true, when parents, teachers and corporate America work together, results are better.


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