Business Association Stepping In: BA Got Your Back
While students are coping with missing major milestones of their college life, as well as the absence of traditional extracurricular activities due to physical absence from campus, the Business Association (BA) team vowed to provide students with a much-needed dose of positivity while doing their best to implement engaging activities.
With campus closure and social distancing, extracurricular activities have almost come to a halt. For many students, extra-curricular are as essential as the academic learning itself, providing opportunities to tune down the academic life and immerse themselves in like-minded communities, even if only for a few hours each week. With the suspension of most of these activities, a further layer of stress adds to the mental toll of learning to deal with a ‘new normal’ that entails social distancing and remote work.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak that led to campus closure, curfew, remote learning, and social distancing, one particular entirely student-lead academic association that is entirely student-lead, the Business Association (BA), attempted to lead impactful and enriching experiences for their fellow colleagues, living up to their mission of “representing and serving business students by understanding their needs and interests as well as offering business students formative real-life business experiences.”
Below is a glimpse of innovative activities led by the different committees to ensure engagement and allow students to build their extracurricular profile while maintaining social responsibility and demonstrating their creative capabilities.
Marketing and Multimedia Committee
AUC Business Students Group: At a time where the coronavirus has transformed the way we communicate, the BA team recognized the importance of effective communication strategies and frequent communication. Reviving the AUC Business Students Facebook group, the team sought to help connect business students and alumni of all majors. On the group, not only are business news shared and discussed, but also tips and tricks for after-grad life, business student testimonials on their journeys, quarantine tips, and suggestions, activities to do while at home, book suggestions, ‘Quarantine and Cook’ recipes by students, and more, overall providing a bonding experience among students.
Tips and Tricks with Business Graduates: Particularly at this point of time, students, and especially graduating seniors, have a lot of questions on their minds regarding their post-grad life and career choices. Taking that into account, the team raised a poll to gather students’ most frequently asked questions and accordingly, virtually interviewed School alumni working in different fields including marketing, finance, and consulting to gain their insights and tips for the upcoming graduating class.
Daily Instagram News/Interactive Content: Harnessing the power of digital and social communities, the team ensured a very active presence on Instagram with diverse content including country news, university news, quizzes, polls, and business student features to keep their audience engaged while providing added value. To ensure consistency, days of the week were divided by themes; ‘Startup Sundays,’ ‘Marketing Mondays,’ ‘Humans of Business,’ on Wednesdays, ‘Tech Thursdays,’ ‘Financial Fridays,’ and ‘Interactive Saturdays.’
MasterClass Online Courses: MasterClass is an online platform that provides classes and workshops on different fields conducted by experts for students of different skill levels. The BA team subscribed to the platform and provided students with one-month access to courses pertaining to business matters, such as branding, finance, strategy, and economics.
Graduating Seniors Scrapbook: The majority of graduating seniors feel that their senior year has been ripped apart with the coronavirus derailing their milestone moments of Cap and Gown and Commencement, understandably taking an emotional toll on them. In an attempt to boost morale, the BA team developed a special scrapbook for the graduating class of Spring 2020 to cherish their memories and hold onto them forever by collecting photos of their favorite university moments over the years.
“Going through the online shift was definitely a challenge at the beginning. We weren’t certain about how we will execute our projects. However, we were determined to serve our students and managed to go through all our intended projects and start new ones too,” remarks Aya Harharah, Multimedia and Branding Manager.
Business Services Committee
BA Student Packs: Traditionally, the BA Student Packs were designed to provide students with the best fresh start for their semester, giving them a boost of support and encouragement while providing a host of useful items. This semester, without physical campus presence, the packs were a challenge, yet not mission impossible! Premium packs were shipped to students’ doorsteps in coordination with shipping companies and in many instances, by members of the team themselves, while other packs took the form of promo codes that students received based on online business trivia competitions or just by being business students.
Stock Trading Competition: In partnership with Mubasher Trade, Egypt’s leading online stock trading broker, the team managed to execute the Stock Trading Competition through its online platform. The competition traditionally takes place remotely, but the training and trading sessions which previously took place physically, where shifted online. All in all, 20 teams participated and received online training from a Mubasher financial analyst, followed by teams trading online for one month and receiving weekly progress rankings, and ending with the winning team receiving a monetary prize.
Online Case Competition: BA collaborated with the School’s Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and El-Khazindar Business Research and Case Center (KCC), in holding the AUC School of Business’ first Online Case Competition (OCC). The competition brought together 11 teams and was conducted over the course of one day with 4 hours of case solving. In their role, the BA team managed the logistics of the competition by contacting the teams beforehand and establishing WhatsApp Groups for swift communication. Moreover, they organized the flow of the competition on Zoom and managed time slots for every team presentation while tracking their time, meanwhile providing social media coverage for the day.
Online Learning Feedback Evaluation: In light of the sudden shift to remote learning and with students’ having different experiences with the new teaching method, the BA team developed an anonymous online feedback evaluation form to gain access to students’ insights on the positives and negatives and the situation and provide their suggestions and recommendations which were to be shared with the management department.
Advising Guide: With the unavailability of face-to-face advising sessions for newly declared and returning students, and with course registrations approaching, the team developed a guidance video on required courses and their pre-requisites, how to calculate credit hours and use AUC’s Degree Works system, and provided students with an overall plan to fulfill their graduation requirements.
"There is no denying that we faced many challenges this year. Yet, we managed to stay agile and we hope that we have fulfilled our promise to serve and benefit our business students under all circumstances. This would not have been possible without each member of our BA Family and the support and guidance of our Business School!" reflects Adham Asem, president, Business Association.
Similarly, Nariman Abaza, vice president, Business Association voices: "I've learned a lot this year even though the semester didn't turn out one bit as the way we initially planned. While my team and I had a lot of initiatives in mind to serve our business students, in a matter of a few days we found that suddenly everything was put to a halt due to the pandemic and all of its circumstances. In the midst of all that, I’m exceptionally proud both of myself and my team have found a way to present something very relevant and needed by the students."
As a school, we take pride in witnessing our business students become business leaders, especially in times of uncertainly such as the ones we’re facing at the moment. These are the true responsible change agents of tomorrow, and they are truly setting an example of how true agility looks.