Business: Practical application vs. ethics
Pete Holiday said “Capitalism needs to function like a game of tug-of-war. Two opposing sides need to continually struggle for dominance, but at no time can either side be permitted to walk away with the rope.” It seems that college is just training for a businessperson to deal with that tug of war. Michael Inciardi, a York College Senior, thought that one of the most important skills he acquired from college was Competing seemingly enormous tasks in time that was not enough to do them. I see college it self as an experience in budgeting your time and allocating for the seemingly enormous tasks when there does not appear to be enough time. Through my interviews and readings, it seems that doing a job quicker is as important then doing it well. Identifying these times is one of the skills a good businessman has.
I often ask myself, Is adequate work enough? Can I get by simply by doing it faster then the next guy? This is not the feeling of Colin Hadley, a graduate student at the University of Maryland, He believes doing a persons best with restrictions is very important Whenever we have a long project Spend hours doing extra research and lots of late nights Its usually done just before the deadline but its a culmination of a lot of extra work that wasnt asked for that I just decided was needed. This leads me to conclude that speed is not the most important aspect thoroughness is just as important.
I have also thought about how school is a micro chasm for the real world but is accurate for the real world? Richard Rubenstein, Senior VP at Oppenheimer thought so. Mr. Rubenstein stated in an interview on March 28th The competitive school I attended Lehigh University allowed me to be a better business person. He also said that, Most schools have a comparable business program and most represent a well rounded business person in the real world. When I do my hiring the school is becoming less important than the internships and extracarriculars
I was also concerned; did these people enjoy their classes? Or did they choose their courses to fill a requirement? It seems everyone had either a class or professor they enjoyed or that opened them to enlightenment. Mr. Inciardi said Dr. Forgens class was the main reason I switched my major to business. He started showing how simple the market was, but as he continued it became more complex and more convoluted. It intrigued me how something simple had so many layers. Mr. Hadley thought, Dr. Lees sociology class The College of Staten Island was one of the most intriguing ideas to me and really stimulated me. Mr. Rubenstein said, In retrospect, art appreciation and music appreciation made me a better and more rounded individual. At the time I thought they were a waste of time, those classes, but now I know they taught me as much as any economics lecture. I realized college is not only learning about your major, but learning about life as well. Electives are not a waste of time they are instead a time to explore, a time to explore things that before you considered minor and non-critical. In the end these courses teach you more about yourself and society as whole then any of the courses could.
When I entered college I felt I knew what I wanted to study. I enjoyed economics in High school and thought, Well since I enjoy it I might as well study it. I later learnt that there is little work for an economics, major and I wasnt enjoying it as much as I previously thought I would. I soon settled on an education in the field of business. Am I the only indecisive person? Have others also thought one thing and ended up doing another? Mr. Inciardi started as a computer science major and later transferred into business. Mr. Hadley had a similar epiphany when he reached college. Mr. Rubenstein, on the other hand, said, I was always interested in business and the stock market, I knew thats what I wanted to learn about and what I wanted to do.
Sir John Harvey said, It horrifies me that ethics is only an optional extra at Harvard Business School. Current requirements demand at least two courses in ethics for a regular business degree and an extra 2 more for my personal specialization in international business. Through my classes, it seems as though ethics exist as a very blurred line. Just because something is legal, it does not necessarily make it right, just because something is financially sound does not make that something responsible. This has worried me because many of the choices you make are value judgments and others do not share same values. According to both Mr. Hadley and Mr. Inciardi the large amounts of business courses you do take will not tell you how to act as a businessperson. That is not the purpose of the classes. The purpose is to help you approach it in a philosophical and analytical manner. Both agreed emotions sometimes cloud ethical judgments. Mr. Rubenstein said Many ethical issues exist and for each it requires a clear head and good judgment He also noted that The I gave at the office attitude doesnt always solve your ethical dilemmas. This man feels he has made some bad decisions but they were not wrong decisions
After my interviews, I concluded that college and advanced schooling prepares you to deal with both the pressure in the field and the ethical issues you will approach every day as a businessperson. I was surprised by some of the responses I received from my interviewees. I suppose that as I continue my education in my field, I will come to my own conclusions and in the future I will be able to look back and make the same judgments on the necessity of education and role of ethics.
Inciardi, Michael. Interview. Personal Interview 16 Mar. 2001
Rubenstein, Richard. Interview. Personal Interview 28 Mar. 2001
Hadley, Colin. Interview. Phone Interview 20 Mar. 2001
TPCN Great Quotations Great Quotations of Sir John Harvey Apr. 28
Quoteland.com- Topics Business/Capitalism Quotations of Pete Holiday Apr. 27
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