I read the news online every day. Specifically, I read The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Google News with periodic forays into The Financial Times and various weeklies. While reading the NYTimes today, I was struck by how it’s a perfect accompaniment to a Babson College education. Just consider these few examples from August 13, 2013:
- “Ackman Resigns from Penney’s Board” by Michael J. De La Merced (Organizational Behavior, Strategy): Describes the recent dust-up among the board and leadership of JC Penney. The significance of all of the moves and counter-moves in this drama only makes sense given a framework for understanding corporate governance and the CEO’s role in a firm.
- “U.S. Seeks to Block Airline Merger” by Jad Mouawad (Economics): Describes and analyzes proposed governmental action in response to market activities. Without an understanding of how economies work, a reader would not be able to understand or evaluate the arguments presented within.
- “A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox” by Dennis Overbye (Science): A discussion of our evolving (get it? science pun!) understanding of the very nature of the universe. It also discusses how competing theories are supported (or not) by experimental evidence and how this affects those theories.
- “Much Ado About Who: Is It Really Shakespeare?” by Jennifer Schuessler (English, Linguistics, History): Describes recent research, using both historical evidence and computational textual analysis, that concludes that some known texts were actually written by Shakespeare.
- “Code to Joy: The School for Poetic Computation Opens” by Amy O’Leary (Computer Science and general liberal arts): Describes how computer programs can be used for non-practical pursuits (beauty, love, poetry). Certainly experience programming makes this discussion more “real” but an appreciation of literature and the arts is also necessary for the enterprise described within to come alive.
- “50 Years Later, Fighting the Same Civil Rights Battle” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg (History, Political Science): Describes the story of John Lewis and his relationship with the civil rights movement over the past 50 years.
Clearly I could have included dozens of articles from the business section of the Times or from anywhere within the Journal and referred back to business classes but I figured that would be belaboring the obvious.
We all have different interests at different times but I continue, even at this stage of my life, to build on both the interests that I developed and the foundation of knowledge that I gained in my undergraduate education. I certainly did not look forward to all of the distribution requirement classes that I took back in the day, but the wisdom of those requirements continues to express itself even today.
While enrolled in college, it would be easy to think that you don’t have time to read a newspaper; however, I think this would be a mistake. You can bring issues from the world into your classes, but you can also, more frequently than you might otherwise believe, apply what you learn from your classes.
Get in the habit as soon as you can of reading the newspaper. If you’re not familiar with the different papers, take a month and read several of them each day. Figure out which one you personally get the most out of. Then subscribe to it, either the print or digital edition (student editions are quite inexpensive), and commit to reading it every single day. You’ll be surprised at how much you will get out of this investment in yourself.
Posted in Dean's Digest