The first group of Integrated Business and Engineering Program students began their first semester this fall, and they recently kicked off the progam with an opportunity to meet and greet with the donors who made contributed to the program.
The event, held at Knoxville’s Club LeConte, featured a keynote address by Ralph Heath—a member of the board of advisors for both the Tickle College of Engineering and the Haslam College of Business and a pivotal proponent of the program.
Following dinner, students were able to ask questions to a panel featuring Heath, fellow Tickle board member Bill Eversole and fellow Haslam board member Jerry Henry.
“Having a chance to sit down with senior executives of industry who are willing to share their experiences and ask them questions is one of the key components of the program,” said Heath. “The candid dialogue provides a unique perspective that would otherwise not be realized in the classroom.”
The tough nature of some of the queries highlighted the caliber of students in the program, with topics from production to entrepreneurship being discussed at length.
In addition to asking questions of the panel, making introductions to the crowd and telling what they hoped to get out of the program, students mingled with officials from both colleges before and during dinner.
Ralph and Associate Dean Dr. Masood Parang speaking to Cora, Mackinzie and Michael
Jerry Henry speaking with Spencer and Manan
Bill Eversole talking with Melissa
Jerry Henry and Associate Dean Lane Morris speaking with Cooper, Sam, Jonathan and Eli
The program aims to enrol around 20 students in each class, with a mix of each college’s disciplines represented. The 19 students in this year's class represent six departments in each college, 14 different majors in total.
Students are selected for the program during the spring semester of their freshman year, entering the program as sophomores.