"Do you recognize ethical dilemmas? Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Do you cope with conflict effectively?" These are just a few of the 30 questions that all BBAs are expected to answer as part of the new 360 assessment tool that the Goizueta Business School has implemented for incoming juniors. And the students are not the only ones answering these questions. Each student is asked to send the survey to teachers, friends, teammates, employers, family members and peers so that they can provide external feedback and perceptions regarding the student’s ongoing professional and personal development.
Crafted two years ago by Jill Pollard, Director of Advising and Leadership Development for the BBA Program, the 360 tool was originally designed for students participating in the BBA Leadership Academy. However, after seeing how positively students responded to the assessment, and noting its effectiveness in helping students develop their leadership competencies, Associate Dean and Program Director Andrea Hershatter decided that it should be a requirement for all new admits to the BBA Program.
Once the student has filled out the questionnaire and successfully invited at least 10 respondents to weigh in on it as well, the survey is compiled and sent to the student's academic advisor. The student and advisor then meet for a one-on-one hour-long coaching session to go over the results. The results are categorized in approximately six areas of professional development, such as communication skills, commitment to community, ability to inspire and motivate, and effective problem solving. Together, the advisor and student examine the distribution of responses, strengths and less developed areas, and level of self-awareness in light of the responses of others. For just about every student, there are differences in some areas between the student's self-perception and the responses given by the people who know her or him best.
In addition to helping students gain awareness of areas that they wish to focus on during their time in the BBA Program, the 360 coaching also serves as a solid point of reference that students can call upon in behavioral interviews. When asked "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" by a potential employer, Goizueta BBAs have powerful insights and nuanced understanding of the areas in which they will be able to make the most significant contributions within any organization.
A follow up 360 assessment is optional in the senior year for students interested in continuing to measure their development. The instrument is one in a series of coaching, assessment and personal growth tools that are part of the BBA Leadership model and are unique to the Goizueta Program. Students who take full advantage of the program are more aware, reflective, proactive, and equipped to emerge as leaders in complex business or organizational environments.
Libby Egnor, Assistant Dean, BBA Program
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