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Executive Speaker Series (ESS)

About the Executive Speaker Series

The School of Business has sponsored the Executive Speaker Series (ESS) since the spring of 1996 as a component of the Leadership and Professional Development (LAPD) Program. ESS brings government, business, and political leaders from across the nation to the campus of South Carolina State University. The diversity of speakers assists in carrying out the mission of the School of Business to produce competitive graduates for a global and diverse workplace, consistent with the University’s 1890 land grant mission. Students get the opportunity to interact with role models, mentors, and people who are successful in the business world and government. The goal is to facilitate their knowledge of perspectives that form the context of business in a global and diverse workplace. Moreover, the Series helps to motivate students by building self-esteem and developing leadership skills. By meeting executives who represent various sectors, students get the opportunity to add value to their growth and development as they enhance their overall collegial experience. As graduates compete for fewer jobs, business schools must develop creative and innovative ways to provide graduates with the soft skills that will give them the competitive edge. So, in addition to students, ESS also benefits the business faculty and administration. Speakers meet with the faculty/administrative team to provide insights into what is trending in a particular sector that may have implications for the taught curricula. Assuring that the business curricula are current and relevant to 21st century needs, this informal assessment serves to benchmark the challenges as well as new opportunities.

A Typical Day

Each Wednesday, the program begins at 10:00 AM in Belcher Hall on the campus of SCSU. The visiting executive meets with the Dean for an overview of the business program and the day’s agenda. The executive then meets with the faculty administrative team (10:30 – 11:00 AM). From 11:00 – 11:45 AM, faculty and about 25 students meet with the executive for an executive-student exchange, where information about world events and business issues is shared. The highlight of the day is the assembly program - approximately two hundred (200) students usually attend this program (12:00 – 12:50 PM). During this session, the speaker presents information on business topics, such as current business issues, current research, his/her life experiences, job responsibilities, and important business tips/opportunities. A question/answer session concludes the session. At 1:00 PM, the speaker joins invited faculty and students for a luncheon. The day concludes with an interview for WSSB.90.3 FM, followed by an exit meeting.