Alumnus and Trustee John Q. Adams forged a highly successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. This week, he returned to where it all began, serving as the first-ever Executive in Residence for the Heidelberg School of Business.
Adams, who was a biology major, seemed right at home as he chatted about his “phenomenal” experience as the inaugural Executive in Residence, a program created by new School of Business Dean Dr. Haseeb Ahmed.
“It’s been very enlightening, very enjoyable,” Adams said of his jam-packed schedule of meetings, presentations and meals with students, faculty from business and other academic departments, administrators and staff, individually and in group settings. “I don’t have the opportunity to be around students much, so to exchange thoughts and ideas with them is very refreshing. It’s great listening to them.”
Adams said he has appreciated spending time with Ahmed, and he now has a clearer understanding of the accreditation process and important matters the School of Business is dealing with. However, his favorite sessions, hands down, have been with students.
The sessions truly have been an exchange of ideas. Adams has suggested ways to better utilize video conferencing equipment in Adams Hall to benefit students in their job searches. He likes the idea of calling on corporate execs to conduct mock interviews with students, who could then analyze their performance in preparation for real-world interviews.
For Adams, providing students a glimpse of the real world is a priority. And for their part, students have peppered him with questions about the job market and have sought advice about getting a job. His best advice: Be flexible. “I tell them, ‘You can’t limit yourself. You have to be mobile and go where the career opportunities are. … I encourage everyone to think outside the box,” he said.
The Executive in Residence program fulfills one of Adams’ visions for the Heidelberg School of Business. “We thought it was very important for students to get a good feel for the outside world and for the issues they’re going to deal with,” he said. “I hope I have contributed something to that goal.”
The Executive in Residence Program was developed to provide students with realistic career advice and a link to the corporate world. Participating executives will bring realistic and practical perspectives, and help increase students’ awareness about the pursuit of excellence, development of successful professional career and the role of leadership in managing change.
Adams said he particularly enjoyed An Evening with the Stars, a dinner Monday night with high-achieving business students and business faculty. He presented “JQ’s 10 Points for Entrepreneurial Good Health” and answered a lot of questions.