I’m a rising second-year student at Fuqua, and a BOV Student Representative. The Board of Visitors, or BOV, is a collection of senior advisers who guide strategies for the school. The function of the BOV is to advise Fuqua administrators on all matters related to curriculum, programs, facilities, and operations while continuing to promote better communication and relationships within the business community. The board is chaired by Bob McDonald, CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, and it is vice chaired by Ron Nicol, Senior Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group, who graduated from Fuqua’s Weekend Executive MBA program in 1986.
I was interested in joining the BOV for three main reasons:
1. The ability to share my opinion towards macro strategy for the school
2. The privilege to represent my fellow students to the board
3. The opportunity to interact with highly impressive board members
Student BOV Representatives sit on the board for three years (which includes one year post-graduation). Each Daytime class has 2 student reps (my classmate, Stephen Grygar, is the other 2013 rep). The process to becoming a student rep is arduous. It begins in February of each year, with an application that is vetted by the current student representatives. One-on-one interviews are then conducted by both of the current representatives. After succeeding in these interviews, I sat down for discussions with Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding, who ultimately selected the students for the board. In March, I learned that I was one of the selected reps.
Seeing Leaders in Action
Once the joy of selection died down, it was time to get to work. We began preparing for the spring BOV meeting immediately. Stephen and I met with Dean Boulding (as well as the always helpful BOV coordinator Pamela Layh) frequently to discuss the main issues that we needed to address at the meeting. One of our primary roles as student reps involves coordinating student discussions with the board. We try to select a diverse group of students to address a couple of key, current issues with the board members. We also spend the weeks leading up to the board meeting canvassing our classmates, and gathering a consensus of opinions regarding the main topics that will be tackled in the BOV meeting.
The Board of Visitors weekend in April kicked off with a reception dinner. It was a great opportunity to sit down in an informal setting with C-level executives and hear their Fuqua stories (while not all of the board members are Fuqua grads, they all have an immense passion for the school). The following day, we kicked off the BOV meeting with the student panels that we had constructed over the past month. There were about 6 students on each panel, and discussions were candid and fruitful, as we took away tangible ideas that will be implemented in the summer/fall. This was followed by the main board meeting, during which Dean Boulding presented Fuqua’s strategy of continue our pursuit to become a top business school that produces leaders of consequence that the world needs. It was amazing to witness the astute observations and the pointed questions of the board members. It was valuable to witness the critical assessment of various strategies and the probing, open-ended questions that were designed to garner full understanding.
I am already looking forward to my next two years on the Fuqua Board of Visitors. My main goal (as well as the BOV’s broader goal) is to improve Fuqua as an elite business school. Personally, I hope to contribute the student voice and to constantly improve the Fuqua experience for future generations.