The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business will host nearly 1,000 first-year business students September 19 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Arena. Now in its second year, Haslam Engaged, the official kick-off to the students’ experience within the college, is an experiential, team-building and learning event.
“So often, students are looking for ways to feel included and engage with others at a large university,” says Lane Morris, associate dean of undergraduate programs and student affairs. “This event is meant to help our students feel like they belong. Building a community between students, staff and faculty is at the core of this sense of belonging, and Haslam Engaged brings our new students into that community.”
The college launched Haslam Engaged last year as an extension of its first-year seminar, which facilitates academic and professional success. It aims to help build leadership skills and other professional soft skills that traditionally develop outside the classroom.
During the event, first-year students divide into small groups facilitated in team-building exercises by upperclassmen. Students might have to communicate without speaking or sight or tackle a problem that can only be solved as a group. The exercises become progressively more challenging and require students to test out the soft skills they will further develop in their business curriculum.
Kara White, a sophomore studying business analytics, will serve as one the group facilitators. After participating in Haslam Engaged last year, she joined Haslam’s winter break study in Costa Rica and was recently accepted into the Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars.
“The atmosphere is so great,” says White. “I loved it because everyone has a UT story–where they came from and what dreams they want to pursue–but this is a way to come together to celebrate that we’re Vols, we’re business Vols, and to meet students who have the same interest that you do in business.”
At the conclusion of the event, students, faculty and staff will enjoy a pancake supper. They will also receive a commemorative t-shirt designed by Volunteer Traditions, a clothing company owned by Haslam alumnus Mason Jones.