It has become clear that the Residential Business Program (RBP) at the Broad College of Business is much more than a program; it is a community on campus like no other. In order to recognize the important community aspect of the program, the RBP has become the Residential Business Community (RBC).
The Residential Business Community has seen a tremendous amount of growth over the last decade. It began in 2006 with 50 freshmen as the Broad Freshman Program, a pilot program designed to create a living and learning community for students interested in entering the Broad College of Business. A decade later, the program has 230 students who live, work, and thrive together.
“Community suggests more than just a program that students opt into. Community involves committed, engaged, and connected members with a shared Spartan experience and with high expectations of one another,” said Kathy Petroni, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the Broad College of Business.
The change makes a lot of sense to the students in the program, as the community aspect is at the heart of the entire experience.
“Because we are with other residential business students in the same classes, the same residence hall, and in the same extracurricular activities, there is a camaraderie that you otherwise don’t get in such a large student body. I’ve never felt such pride in any other group. I feel in place at Michigan State, I feel like I belong, and I feel like I’ve known everybody here my entire life. This was all facilitated by my involvement in the Residential Business Program community,” said William Talbot, a current RBC member and accounting student at Broad.
Another change slated for the Residential Business Community is the opening of the doors at McDonel Hall to other Broad students and students from the Honors College. By bringing these three groups together, the entire community will be strengthened by the diversity created by the population, said Petroni.
“The addition of the floors dedicated to returning Broad and Honors College students at McDonel, and the transition of the program to using ‘community’ in the name, fosters that feeling of togetherness and creates a more diverse experience for all of our Broad business students,” said Amy Radford-Popp, director of the Residential Business Community.
The changes happening at the RBC reflect the core mission of the program, says Elexis Grimes, a Broad accounting major, and she says they will enhance the experience for everyone involved.
“The Residential Business Community has served as a catalyst for my development as a professional. It is designed for individuals to experience rapid personal and professional development in a supportive environment. I have experienced new things that I never thought were possible. I have interned domestically, internationally, studied abroad, have held executive board positions and supervisory job positions and, as of now, am a Homecoming Court Ambassador. The Residential Business Community has provided me with the tools to lead and inspire others,” Grimes said.
About the Residential Business Community
RBC is dedicated to creating a residential academic experience to promote, enhance, and support a diverse group of students in their academic, personal, and professional growth as business students in a diverse and multicultural world. RBC prepares students to be business leaders and encourages their professional development throughout their college experience. This community living experience also assists students in acquiring the relational skills necessary to succeed and lead in today’s global society. Through a seamless environment of academic and experiential learning activities, students develop business leadership competencies in a collaborative, inclusive, and multicultural environment.