MBA Students Explore the "Real World" of Ethics with Guest Speakers

By Helen Edelman, manager, Exchange

June 25, 2015

Three silhouettes, two of men and one of a woman stand before a gold city graphic with the words Fairness, Team Spirit, Quality, and Honesty all pointing to the word SuccessStudents in the MBA program's Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility elective are exploring the "real world of ethical decision making" with a series of guest speakers this semester. "We are fortunate to have a retired Army Major, a business consultant, an internationally known leader who served time in federal prison and a hospital executive engaging with students so that we can bring theory to life in rich dialogues," said Kymn Rutigliano, assistant professor in the School for Graduate Studies, who facilitates this course. "Each of these leaders has riveting stories about the ethical dilemmas they have faced and candidly shares their successes and failures. Together we explore the often grey areas of ethical decision making, supporting students in expanding their critical thinking skills and creating their own personal credo as an ethical leader."

Rutigliano noted that these speakers donate their time and answer questions via conference call or Blackboard Collaborate. They also respond to students' emails and follow-up questions. "There is no greater learning experience than learning from an individual who has been there. Obtaining knowledge from the life experiences of guest speakers helps us to not only understand concepts discussed in class, but to apply these concepts in our own lives," said Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility student Ann West, who expects to graduate in December. "While textbooks supply fundamental knowledge, leaders' stories make learning way more memorable. As a future leader, I find that guest speakers continue to set me on a path for greatness by their enriching and inspiring words of wisdom. They truly are powerful!"

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Did You Know

The June issue of Empire State College's Student Health 101  features six ways to fix motivation fails.

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Article Contributors

Layla Abdullah-Poulos

Kim Dramer

Helen Edelman

Christina Mercer

Samantha E. Williams