By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–The final countdown has begun for this year’s School of Business Golf Scramble, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30 at Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville, Ind.
The Golf Scramble has been a fixture on the campus calendar for 20 years, giving students a chance to mingle with faculty and local employers in a relaxed and informal setting. Teams of four, made up of two students and two employers, compete to finish in the top three, and to win prizes for longest drive, longest putt and closest approach to the pin.
Begun as a finance and accounting club event, the scramble has been run by the School of Business since 2006, with the sponsorship support of area business leaders such as Title Sponsor First Savings Bank, and Platinum Sponsors Cengage Learning, Judge and Sue Sanders, and Monroe Shine.
The scramble benefits the School of Business and its students in many ways. It acts as a fundraiser for scholarships and operating expenses, and there are also chances for student organizations to raise money through a silent auction and prize contests.
Business students, whose golfing fees are covered by the School of Business and by sponsors, have an unmatched opportunity to experience the social aspects of business, beyond the boardrooms.
“The scramble gives them an opportunity to network with business owners and hiring professionals in the area,” said David Eplion, dean of the School of Business. “It’s a chance for them to apply, hone, practice and enhance some of the soft skills they may have picked up along the way.”
Those skills of communication, presentation, problem solving and social interaction are vitally important in forging company culture. To contribute to the success of an enterprise, new hires must not only master the field, but know how to be part of a team, and to help it raise its game to seize opportunities and meet challenges. Teamwork is based on trust, and often that is developed outside the office, during casual shared experiences like the scramble.
“Communication and flexibility are two very valuable soft skills that I developed at IU Southeast,” said alumnus Alex Yson, now a data analyst at First Savings Bank for whom the Scramble was a major career boost. “Good communication helps prevent misunderstandings and can make a group work much more efficiently, and being flexible helps you adapt to new situations, and has helped me gain skills that I didn’t have before.”
Events like this are not job interviews for which students must be dressed, prepped and coached. But employers can still learn a lot about people, what makes them tick and how effective they would be on a team. Several students have been hired right off the golf course.
“I recommend that students be relaxed, social, confident and themselves,” said Tony Schoen, chief financial officer of First Saving Bank, the event’s Title Sponsor. “I encourage them to observe and listen to how the business partners speak and interact, but also to ask meaningful questions regarding the sponsoring firms, the opportunities and culture at those firms, and how their golf partners made their way in and established themselves.”
Schoen appreciates the fun event that gives people a chance to get to know one another, while also contributing to scholarships for the emerging professionals who will provide service in the community.
“Each business partner is there to support the IU Southeast School of Business and has hopes of finding one or more quality candidates for their firms, but most are products and/or beneficiaries of IU Southeast, and consequently have the fundamental desire to pay it forward with their support,” Schoen said. “IU Southeast has been and will continue to be a treasure in our community that has loyal supporters.”
For information on the 2016 School of Business Golf Scramble, please visit the event page or contact Cheryl Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-941-2325.
Homepage photo, from left: Tony Schoen, chief financial officer of First Savings Bank (Title Sponsor), William Kaiser, financial advisor for Edward Jones, IU Southeast Professor of Accounting Doug Barney and IU Southeast alumnus Michael Weick enjoy a round at a recent School of Business Golf Scramble.