Online meetings enabled groups to build authentic relationships with each other while relating in personal ways.
“The virtual environment at Carey was so inclusive and accessible. It made it easy for me to take my dog out, then jump on the computer and be with classmates who were also juggling their work and home responsibilities,” Taniguchi said.
Pursuing new opportunities
Student organizations have explored new opportunities, creating a new paradigm for higher education at Carey.
Student leaders were able to reach out to individuals from across the world to speak at conferences or compete in case competitions.
“These opportunities never would have come to life if our student organizations were still in-person,” Lu said.
Over 50 case competitions, conferences, and events were conducted throughout the virtual year. Student leaders proved their ability to flex while finding innovative ways to make their events move to a virtual setting.
The Danaher Case Competition attracted a record 65 teams from various nations. The KeyBank OSU Case Competition, where Taniguchi and her team won first place, was completed fully online.
“We utilized a new design tool called MIRO to collaborate during the competition. It forced us to learn new skills and surprisingly enabled us to do things we wouldn’t have done in-person,” Taniguchi said.
Other student organizations like the Africa Business Club and Healthcare Business Association hosted large-scale conferences, both virtual. Each conference was planned and implemented by the student leaders.
The Africa Business Conference had over 620 registrants, with many of the panel speakers residing in Africa. The conference was deemed so successful that a business school in Africa is now considered a sister-student organization to Carey’s Africa Business Club.
The Business Analytics and Risk Management student organization also successfully adjusted their roster of events to the uncertainties of the lockdown.
“We had five events this past year, and all were done online. In [the Business Analytics and Risk Management organization], we have students from around the world, so I was thrilled to see all our board members able to come together to plan our events and attend them all, which has not happened in the past,” Lu said.
Working collaboratively to reach out via LinkedIn or through the alumni network, student leaders found that external partners and leaders in different countries were more than happy to engage in their events.
A moment to step away
As with any significant change, virtual learning offered some challenges as well. Presenting yourself in front of a computer screen every day for multiple hours can be draining.
“There were certainly more meetings than normal. But finding a balance and preparing ahead of time to make yourself comfortable helped a lot,” Lu said.
Taniguchi’s biggest tip for dealing with the demands? Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. “Pay attention to what your body tells you, especially when you’re sitting in a chair all day. And take the time to know that you are able to step away from your computer for a bit.”