We had the pleasure of sitting down with Dean Amy Hillman to talk about the W. P. Carey School of Business and some of the reasons they are teaching their students that business is always personal.
Q: Tell us a little about W. P. Carey and the overall goal with your students?
Arizona State University is the largest university in the nation, it has been for 6 or 7 years now. Our business school has taken on the challenge of educating people to be the business leaders of tomorrow, to really get them to see their ability to engage globally. We want them to feel confident in their ability to act like entrepreneurs, to not be afraid of new challenges and ultimately, we want to teach people how they can have an impact on their community, and even beyond that.
Q: What about Arizona really stands out to you?
Arizona has a sense about it that makes you feel that anything is possible. Our culture is one of experimentation and risk-taking, we really don’t take ourselves too seriously! It’s the perfect environment to educate people with not only everyday skills but what it means to be a lifelong learner.
Q: How has the school progressed in the last few years?
We’re seeing a lot of organizations and companies coming to Arizona because of ASU and the amazing talent it has. We have a lot of graduates and they all come out with an entrepreneurial mindset and a real work ethic that fits out state and our community really well.
Q: Which of the new AZ5C’s play the biggest part in the W. P. Carey school?
Definitely commerce, because business is commerce. What we try to do is stay as close to our corporate partners as we can so we’re making sure that our students are coming out with great talent as well as advancing their commerce while they are still students. Staying active in the community and taking on real projects in the coursework helps advance their business knowledge. As a business school, we do take responsibility for the economic development of our state, to make sure that we’re enabling all organizations to grow and succeed. Commerce is really at the heart of everything we do.
Q: What do you envision for the future of the W. P. Carey school?
We work really hard on that entrepreneurial mindset and the work ethic we touched on. Our motto is “business is personal,” because we know that everything in business is really personal and so we want to communicate that to every individual in everything we do. We’re going to create a tight-knit set of connectors that will create a very different culture in a very large city.
Q: For young adults in the business industry, how do you find the connection that brings everyone together?
We go one step further to ask how are we giving back beyond the organization, how are we taking responsibility for the community in which we live? If we can build a culture where it’s not just about our own organization but is about our collective organizations and our place here in Arizona, we can achieve what other places have not been able to.
Q: Talk about the importance of having a sustainable business culture.
As we start to attract new organizations, culture is critically important! What I like to talk to business leaders about is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t love the arts, or hiking, or the symphony or whatever it is, it’s all part of the culture that people expect when they come into a great city. We have to make sure that people are able to find what’s really important to them.
Q: What would you say is the number one issue that businesses need to overcome here?
What I would say is one of the issues is getting a real understanding of what Arizona is, when you’re not in Arizona. Too many people are quick to think they know what Arizona is and is about, and they aren’t here to see all of the vibrant activity and lifestyles there are, and how amazing this community is. Once you give it a shot, you’re going to see that this is the place for you.
The students at W. P. Carey are talented, creative, and problem solvers for the future. Dean Hillman makes it clear that fostering the entrepreneurial spirit is helping shape great leaders that are solutions-focused, committed to growth, and dedicated to taking care of their community.
W. P. Carey School of Business
300 E Lemon St