Armed with knowledge and experience in financial, social and environmental responsibility, students in the University of West Georgia’s new Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program will enter the workforce far ahead of other business graduates.
That was the message Southwire President and CEO Stu Thorn shared recently with the first class of seven students who will begin the program this fall.
“As you go into the job market think about all of the things you will be able to say that your competitors won’t be able to say,” Thorn told the students. “You will be able to speak to so much more than the typical student graduating. From the hands-on experience you will receive to the education you’ll gain from the academics. Trust me, you will be much more marketable.”
Those completing the program will have the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sustainable business – something no other American university offers. In addition, students will have the opportunity for mentoring with Southwire employees and will participate in a variety of hands-on projects, gaining insight into the company’s sustainability platform.
“This will be an opportunity you will remember for the rest of your lives,” said Dr. Faye S. McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business and Sewell Chair of Private Enterprise. “Each student here comes with high reviews and recommendations, and I am excited to work with and meet each of you.”
Students enrolled in the Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program will meet the university’s requirements for general education, including global perspectives and critical thinking; complete requirements for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration; and engage in classroom and extra-curricular activities focusing on sustainable business development, ethics and corporate responsibility.
Throughout the program, students will participate in real-world experiences at Southwire, such as completing internships in their major fields of study, working with the company’s Project GIFT (Giving Inspiration for Tomorrow) volunteer team, contributing to and editing Southwire’s Living Well magazine and participating in the Southwire Engineering Academy.
“Sustainable business practices require companies to plan ahead years – not just quarters –to ensure long-term profitability, the health of the environment and the strengthened social infrastructures of our communities,” Thorn said. “All of Southwire’s operations and decisions evolve through a culture built on the concepts of building worth, growing green, living well, giving back and doing right. We are honored the University of West Georgia sees value of our practices as a model for educating the business leaders of tomorrow.”
– Gary Leftwich