Assistant Professor Bill Davis, MA, CM has been an instructor with Ashford University, now 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 less than two years, and with additional support from Assistant Professor Lisa Marie Johnson, the free online organization has grown from approximately 60 members to over 1,800. 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 Business Management 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 Business Management Club meets virtually once per quarter using video conferencing technology, making it easily accessible to its 1,800 members. Generally, each meeting addresses a particular topic or features an invited speaker.
For example, Lynn Powell, executive director of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, recently spoke about the Certified Manager Certification and the Forbes School of Business & Technology/ICPM partnership, Davis noted. Another speaker was Dr. Nils Jonas Ohrberg, who discussed career planning.
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 Business Management club has quickly grown from a small group of roughly 60 members to a broad base of 1,800, yet there are no plans to stop expanding, Davis explained. Instead, the club is focusing on its next phase.
Davis plans to provide a “great learning experience” for newly established student leadership. Three student volunteers, Jamie King, Amanda Kistner, and Tyler Croft, have expressed interest in taking the reins as official club officers. Under their direction, Davis envisions increased meeting frequency to once per month. Davis is also encouraging these new leaders to develop strategic business and marketing plans that reflect their own personal visions and goals for the club.
“The idea is to increase that engagement a level or two, and increase satisfaction,” he said.
Interested in Joining?
Clearly, now is an exciting time for Global Campus students to get involved with the Business Management Club. For more information or to become a part of the growing organization, visit the LinkedIn page.
Written by University Staff