University News

Global Commerce: Executive in Residence program

Global Commerce Provost's Office
September 29, 2020

Denison University’s Global Commerce major is on the forefront of providing students the know-how to understand and address the challenges, problems, and opportunities that businesses and organizations face in today’s global economy. To enhance an already dynamic program, the college has just launched an Executive in Residence initiative that will give Global Commerce students direct and sustained connections with experienced, successful business and nonprofit executives.

Professor Karen Spierling, director of the Global Commerce program, notes, ”Our Executives in Residence will share what they have learned throughout their successful careers, from the strengths of various management styles to in-depth knowledge about global variations in markets, business practices, and organizational structures. We expect they will develop strong mentoring relationships with our students over time. Having direct access to a range of professional expertise and insight will give our students a real edge as they launch their own careers.”

David Hirsh, CEO & Co-Founder of Atrium Buying Corp., and Richard Jolly, Director of Stokes & Jolly Limited, have agreed to serve as the first two holders of the Executive in Residence position.

Hirsh has a long-established relationship with Global Commerce students and brings a keen understanding of the changing landscape of the retail industry and venture capital investment. He has both corporate and entrepreneurial leadership experience as well as a proven track record of mentoring Denison students.

“I have loved being involved with the Global Commerce department since its inception,” says Hirsh. “I am thrilled to be a resource that can help share real-life business experiences with the students, and to help them make valuable connections with the business community. These students are impressive. Their passion for Global Business and Denison is remarkable.”

Jolly, while relatively new to Global Commerce and to Denison, has an established record as an adjunct professor of Organizational Behaviour at London Business School and visiting lecturer at a number of business schools around the world. He has extensive leadership consulting experience across a wide range of sectors, including central and investment banking, private equity, advertising, and consumer goods.

“In its first four years of existence at Denison, the Global Commerce major has been a pioneer in demonstrating how academic programs can collaborate with non-academic professionals in ways that highly benefit our students,” says Spierling. “The Executive in Residence program will continue this trajectory.”

More about the Global Commerce Executive in Residence program:

The Executives in Residence (EIR) program will allow 2-3 senior executives from major business enterprises or nonprofit organizations to spend meaningful time interacting with students and faculty in Global Commerce. Each EIR will share their own perspective on leadership, drawn from their experience in the business or non-profit sector. In turn, students and faculty will have opportunities to gain their own insights through their interaction with the EIRs. This reciprocal relationship will be a hallmark of the program.

While Global Commerce hosts many speakers throughout the academic year, the EIRs will be expected to go beyond a one-time presentation. The “residence” arrangement is flexible. It can range from several visits during the semester to more regular visits over the course of a semester, or possibly even a longer stay. The program’s flexibility allows each Executive in Residence to make a commitment based on their time requirements.

The executive’s commitment may include (but is not limited to) making presentations to different groups (e.g., classes, cohorts, student organizations), holding set office hours, advising the Global Commerce Student Network, career advising, case writing and/or competition judging, guest lecturing and participation in industry panels, and mentoring students interested in their focal business area.

The heart of the Global Commerce major is the transparent integration of curricular and co-curricular learning experiences. The skills Global Commerce students develop through co-curricular programming are generally the primary goal (and limit) of a business school undergraduate major. Denison’s Global Commerce majors also have an intellectually invigorating curriculum that underpins their practical skills and better prepares them for the complexities of careers in business, trade, non-profit management, and global organizations. The program will serve to highlight the curricular/co-curricular integration which lies at the core of the overall major program in ways that will benefit the Denison community far beyond the Global Commerce program.

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