Business Policy and Strategy is a senior level course required for all business majors including business management, accounting, finance, marketing, international business, and industrial management. Many students refer to the class as their “Senior Capstone” taught by Professor Richard Kocur. Throughout this speaking intensive course, students are given various writing and presentation assignments within a group. However, at the end of each semester, Professor Kocur asks his students to complete an individual writing assignment with the prompt, “What does it mean to be a Christian in today’s business world?” Students are able to submit their essays into a writing competition among approximately 60 members of the class. Professor Kocur narrows down the top seven papers, which are then evaluated by various professors in Grove City’s business department. Students with the top three essays receive a monetary prize and an in-class recognition.
Mr. Kocur decided that this assignment was a great way for seniors to think about how their faith will be incorporated in their future jobs. He stated, “The assignment is a unique aspect of our business department and I think demonstrates our connection with the College’s mission and values. The essay contest serves to support not only the mission of the College, but the Business Program’s vision of being a premier undergraduate business program where scholarship and application combine with Christian principles.”
As an accounting student in the Business Policy and Strategy course last semester, I had the opportunity to complete this assignment and consider the “Christian Perspective” in the business world. I personally loved this assignment, and I took the time to look back on what I had learned in my classes at Grove City about implementing Christian values in the real world. The prompt for the paper was not an easy question to answer. However, I focused my paper on living out Christian values in all aspects of life, rather than compartmentalizing work, family, friends, and faith. Although discussing your faith in the workplace is not always appropriate, acting as an example of Christ is a great way to implement one’s Christian values in all components of their life. After writing my paper, I was lucky enough to receive third place in the competition among my classmates, which was a great way to complete my semester.
Second place writer, Olivia (Ebert) Greathouse, also enjoyed the assignment and explained how she felt on the paper. “I thought the business writing competition was a great opportunity to express and share my thoughts about Christianity and business. It forced me to put into words the thoughts in my head about how I will bring my faith into the workplace. I believe being a Christian should permeate every aspect of our lives including our life at work. While we may not proclaim our Christianity to everyone we encounter, it should be evident in our actions and attitudes each and every day.”
Austin Everett took first place in the competition, and found that this question was something that had been on his mind for quite some time. He stated, “The paper was really a culmination of four years of wrestling with the subject matter. Discussions in classes and with professors outside the classroom lit my interest in this subject which then led me to various books and thought leaders. The understanding of the Christian and his or her work became an increasingly pressing issue on my mind, so when it came to writing the paper, it was really an issue of simply putting onto paper four years of thought that was nurtured by professors and books from the church, past and present.”
The writing assignment will continue to be assigned to students in the Business Policy and Strategy course each semester. Altogether, the competition for the paper is a great way for business majors to really dive into the complexity of the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian in today’s business world?”