The Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and the Campbell chapter of Future Business Leaders of America hosted Professor Scott Kelly, Professor Jessica Boone, and Dr. Kate Lawrence for a faculty Q&A panel to discuss hot topic issues effecting the business industry.
This jointly held discussion was a part of a new lunch and learn series ‘Food for Thought’; An initiative designed to introduce students to their professors’ interests outside of the classroom.
Professor Scott Kelly is the director of Entrepreneurship and an instructor for entrepreneurship and marketing courses; Professor Jessica Boone is an assistant professor of Accounting; Dr. Kate Lawrence is an associate professor of Marketing.
There were a wide range of topics discussed during February’s faculty panel; A few to note: hybrid work environments, networking, AI replacing jobs, and tips for employment after graduation.
What do you see as the future of business with ESG, technology, and AI?
Professor Kelly stated clearly, “We need to embrace new technologies – whether that is Chat GPT or an automated version of Canva – to make the tool most efficient. It learns from us.” He then posed a question for the audience, “How do we best utilize AI in our classrooms to prepare students for the tools they will be asked to use in their workplace.”
Professor Boone was adamite that, “AI will never eliminate accountants, but it will make the process of completing our work more efficient.” She added, “Every machine will reach a point at which it can’t continue. At this time, a human will have to step in to solve the issue.”
Dr. Lawrence echoed her fellow faculty panelist in saying, “When technology is made more efficient it reduces the cost of an item for the consumer. Therefore, working to improve AI can only make our jobs better.” She then added a throwback to the early days of the internet, “Imagine what the internet was like when it was first developed in 1990’s. It was horrible but look where we are today.”
How do you foresee virtual/hybrid employment developing in the next 5-10 years?
Professor Kelly said, “An individual’s preference for their work environment is personal. A company’s flexibility could provide its employees with opportunities – to visit a co-working space or set up meetings with interesting people outside of their current network – all experiences that can assist in the growth of employees.”
Professor Boone shared Best Buy’s hybrid work model that allows employees to choose how they would be most productive; Employees are allowed to work hybrid from home or given the option to work outside in an office pod provided by Best Buy. She added, “There will always be advantages and disadvantages for hybrid and/or remote work – It is a personal choice that should be made by the employee.”
Dr. Lawrence was honest in saying, “100% remote work is hard; It is hard to differentiate the boundary between work and home life. I think the best option is to allow employees to pick how they are individually most productive.”
Students and staff, and the faculty in attendance, enjoyed peaking into the brains of our panelists. It was quite fun to see our faculty share their thoughts in an informal setting and to laugh at the commentary thrown about.
Next month – March 15th – Dr. Michelle Osborne, department chair of business administration and economics and associate professor of business, will share her passion for raising awareness of human trafficking and the research she has conducted on the prevalence of sex trafficking in the Costa Rican tourism industry.
If you are interested in attending a future session of our lunch and learn series ‘Food for Thought’, please reach out to Renee Green (firstname.lastname@example.org) and keep a watch on our social media (@campbell_business) for event sign-ups.