As I step into the BBA program office, four students inundate me with questions while others are scattered throughout the office working on various projects leading to a two and a half day international business conference. Trying to deflect questions, I scramble for the seven-page master "To Do" list. I make my way to my laptop. In a subconscious effort to avoid the mounting fears of opening my inbox, I recount the past few days: six and a half hours of sleep in the last 72 hours and a solid week of nothing but delivery meals. (We fondly call this part of the conference "training to be an investment banker.") Sorting through 200 new emails, I find two emails from previous chairs of the Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference (UBSLC). Twenty-four hours before one of the biggest events in my college career, each email offers sincere congratulations for making it this far and a few words of wisdom.
"The word leadership in the conference name is truly derived from the organizers of the conference... As the conference begins this weekend, it is important to look at each other and understand what you have done and not if the bus shows up on time or if the students like the restaurants you chose. You have convinced schools, students and companies to spend over a $100k on a vision you all had as well as learned to communicate with different personalities to put on a premier program... I can honestly say I learned more in the preparation of the event than any class I took at school."
Right on schedule, these emails came with all the elements of a good business case: miscommunication, differing expectations, faulty assumptions, and high-pressure and time-critical decisions. However, this time it was real, involving my peers, friends, and the relationships I had built over the last four years.
I realize this conference will provide me with yet another pivotal life lesson. If I get through Friday—the day of four guest speakers, a case competition, three meals, a private networking lunch for our lead sponsor and an off-campus networking event for the 25 guest speakers and 114 conference participants.- then I will have learned that leadership is sometimes making a decision together to ensure the conference's success.
Carolyn Chandler, Co-Chair of the 2008 Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference
The ninth annual UBSLC proudly hosted 114 student leaders from 50 leading institutions in England, Italy, Germany, China, Australia and the United States. As one of the best and most respected undergraduate business conferences in the country, the UBSLC is completely student-run.
During the two-and-a-half day conference, held on January 31 to February 2, BBAs and the UBSLC participants enhance their leadership capacity through developmental workshops, interactive programming and case competitions. The conference has a rich history of enticing some of the world’s most respected business thinkers to share their perspectives. This year’s keynote speakers included William Donaldson, former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and AG Lafley, CEO and Chairman of Procter and Gamble. The primary goal of the UBSLC is to empower students with leadership skills and to inspire them to make a positive impact when they return to their respective campuses.
David Burton, Co-Chair of the 2008 Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference