What does it take to succeed in the often-turbulent world of business? Students from Florida International University’s (FIU) Executive MBA (EMBA) program recently put that question directly to some of the world’s leading CEOs.
Along with their peers from Nova Southeastern University and the University of Miami, the EMBA students were guests at a luncheon sponsored by The Business Council, an association of Fortune 500 executives. Also on hand was College of Business Administration management professor Jerry Haar, an expert on entrepreneurship, innovation and corporate strategy.
The event gave the attendees a rare opportunity to chat one-on-one with the heads of such powerhouse corporations as Dow Chemical, Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland. The executives shared information about their own careers and answered students’ questions on pressing issues in today’s business world.
“The CEOs enjoyed interacting with new, upcoming minds,” The Business Council Executive Director Phil Cassidy said.
Conversations yield new insights for business students.
Jorge Abreu described the discussions as “eye-opening.” As the owner of a small nursery in West Kendall, he was surprised to learn that he and the corporate CEOs grapple with some of the same issues, such as “property values, regulation and community involvement.” Through his conversations with CEOs like Dow’s Andrew Liveris, Abreu gained a new perspective on what life is like at the helm of a huge global concern.
“They really stressed the importance of staying connected to employees and suppliers at all levels so that those people feel valued and appreciated for their contributions,” Abreu said. “I just assumed you lost touch with the human side of the business once you got to that level, so it was helpful to hear that’s not the case.”
In his mind, the benefits of attending such an event are inestimable.
“How often do I get to sit down with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company?” he said. “I would tell other students that if they get the chance, go.”