Thursday, September 08, 2011
Sometimes, I get questions from potential/incoming students on leadership opportunities or collaboration with other departments in Seattle U. In Albers, we have AGSA (Albers Graduate Student Association) where students can network and socialize with fellow business students and faculty members. Outside Albers, Seattle U has GSC (Graduate Student Council). A friend and former Vice Chair of GSC, Sarah D. Fischer, wrote this piece below early this year which I think has a really great message. Supporting student organizations across campus including AGSA, GSC encourages graduate students to do cross collaboration with students within and outside their own departments. You can read more about GSC here.
A Call for Cross-Collaboration
Contrary to popular thought, the best part about Grads @ The Garage was neither the Mac & Jacks nor the free appetizers (although both were fab) in January. The Echo Room was filled with a mixture of students and the best part, in my humble opinion, was guessing what groups of people were from what school. In reflecting about this social event, I realized that something is missing from our graduate studies at SU.
This placing game was wildly entertaining and served as a great icebreaker when mingling around. Funnily enough, I had the pleasure of meeting some students who were playing the very same game. We joined our forces and debated over what we saw. While more of our guesses were wrong than right, it was a fun way to laugh about all of our programs’ stereotypes, take a sociological look at how people interact, and bond over how much we really were more the same rather than different. While comparing notes about our respective studies, I also got a glimpse of my fellow peers before seeing them in the ‘real world,’ where I believe our paths will likely cross more frequently than not. I was humbled in learning about other’s experiences in their externships, internships, specializations, and seeing the all-around zeal people had for their chosen path of study.
And this is where my experience in the Echo Room hinted at something I believe should be a part of our graduate studies at SU, which is missing—cross-collaboration between disciplines. So many of society’s ills could be aided through cross-collaboration rather than competition between these various industries we are striving to be an integral part of.
I was encouraged and challenged—if we could get together and learn so much from each other within a few hours in a mere social setting, what could we do if we had the challenge to collaborate across disciplines, using the ‘real world’ as our play pen? One needs to not look further than the Seattle University Youth Initiative (http://www.seattleu.edu/suyi) for a way to make this kind of learning to become reality. Moreover, it would be a win-win for the community and our educational endeavors.
While we need to be the very best at our specialty we have chosen, why not also be the very best at contributing to society by embracing the countless opportunities cross-collaboration between disciplines holds for us, right here, right now??
Sarah D. Fischer, Master’s in Business Administration Candidate, December 2011
Written by Farani Aryono, email@example.com