Jacob Raburn, a business management major at Dalton State, is listening to advice from CEO Ralph Boe. “He talked about different cultures, and that we should do our homework on how they do business,” Mr. Raburn said. “It has been good to have him here.”
Mr. Boe is the first executive-in-residence for Dalton State’s School of Business. He volunteers his time helping students prepare for the job search and their first job out of college. Mr.
Boe retired from Beaulieu of America earlier this year after 13 years as president and CEO of the international company. He has more than 44 years experience in the floor covering and fiber business and holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Maryland.
“I am interested in connecting the academic aspect to the real world,” Mr. Boe said. “How do you bridge the gap from academia to the business world? I made my success in the floor-covering industry and in this town. I feel good giving back. I had mentors along the way, and I feel like helping others.”
Mr. Boe said he hopes students take away skills to help them get and keep a job after graduation.
“My own father only went to school through fourth grade,” he said. “He didn’t push me to do anything. But others did. It’s good to have someone to push you along when you need it. When you see others who are successful you say ‘I can do that, too.’ Each person is different and approaches success differently. I’m giving them what worked for me.”
Mr. Boe speaks to classes, helps students with certain projects, helps with assessments of presentations, and is available for questions.
“He’s talking to our students who are ready to go into the job market,” said Dr. Marilyn Helms, professor of management. “The job market is competitive. Our students can really benefit from this. Students don’t typically see a top executive in their world. He’s giving them sage advice and he’s approachable.”
Dr. Larry Johnson, Dean of the School of Business, says he wants business leaders to become engaged with students on campus.
“Students need this,” Dr. Johnson said. “They need that role model, and they need to see how these successful people think, act, and present themselves.”
There are opportunities for other business leaders to help with higher education in the School of Business. Anyone interested in becoming an executive-in-residence can email Dr. Johnson at email@example.com.