Lead Faculty and Assistant Professor Bill Davis, MA, CM has been an instructor with the University of Arizona Global Campus Forbes School of Business and Technology® since 2005*. With the support of fellow faculty members Dr. Mike Reilley and Dr. Ron Beach, along with Student Development & Engagement Specialist Ben Gothia, Davis founded the Forbes School of Business and Technology Business Management Club in October of 2016. In December 2020, to appeal to a greater and more diverse audience, the club’s name was changed to the Forbes School of Business and Technology Management / Business / Diversity Thought Leaders Club.
Since its inception, the free online organization has grown from approximately 60 members to over 3,200. Current membership consists of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and associated business management professionals. Read on to learn more about the club’s overall purpose and functionality, as well as Davis’s vision for its continued success.
According to its official marketing collateral, the club’s mission is “to foster continuous learning in business management and other related fields,” while its goal is “to further learning and success by sharing ideas, advice, and information.”
Davis’s personal goals for the club align with these values.
“It’s all about furthering students’ success,” he said. “What I absolutely love is having a platform for engagement and helping people.”
Davis also stressed the importance of “operating with a shared vision” and promoting content that “appeals to all.”
This shared vision translates into further engagement. For example, Davis says that students have liked posts made on career planning and development and have reached out to the club leaders directly for coaching and advice.
Members also respond well to content on organizational change, leadership, business models, and marketing, he adds. Popular articles like “Five Essential Skills for Leadership in the 21st Century,” “How Confidence is a Leader’s Best Friend,” “The Business Model Canvas – 9 Steps to Creating a Successful Business Model – Start Up Tips,” and “6 Tips for Building Relevance and Trust” have generated attention from members.
The club meets virtually once per quarter using video conferencing technology, making it easily accessible to its members. Generally, each meeting addresses a particular topic or features an invited speaker.
For example, right now the student club officers President Jamie Lynn King and Cordarreo Durden, Samantha Simpson, and Michael Turner are busy planning and developing new initiatives, including networking events, speaker presentations, panel discussions, and podcast presentations with Forbes School of Business and Technology faculty and leadership. The topics presented will vary and they include subject areas such as management, leadership, organizational change, marketing, diversity and inclusion, stress management, strategic planning, project management, and more.
Regular engagement also occurs through the club’s LinkedIn page, where members share and discuss relevant content such as insightful business articles, educational videos, and career resources.
“The beauty of the LinkedIn club is that once you post something in there, everyone gets an announcement that there’s a new post,” Davis said. “It’s a place to go participate in dialogue.”
Building an online club from the ground up may not be an easy task, but Davis offers advice for those seeking to cultivate and encourage a strong virtual community.
“Make sure you engage and you respond . . . consistency is key. Show them that you care, that you’re committed, that you’re dedicated to leading by example.”
Vision for the Future
Through consistent and positive leadership, the Forbes School of Business and Technology Management / Business / Diversity Thought Leaders Club has quickly grown from a small group of roughly 60 members to a broad base of 3,200, yet there are no plans to stop expanding, Davis explained. Instead, the club is focusing on its next phase.
Davis and Beach plan to provide a “great learning experience” for newly established student leadership.
"We have an exceptional team of four student volunteers," Dais says, noting that club officers, such as Cordarreo Durden, have been afforded the opportunity to connect with different students over their shared experiences.
"This experience has given me great friendships and excellent business connections from current students to alumni,” Cordarreo says.
Interested in Joining?
Clearly, now is an exciting time for UAGC students to get involved with the Forbes School of Business and Technology Management / Business / Diversity Thought Leaders Club. For more information or to become a part of the growing organization, visit the LinkedIn page.
*Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus.