FLINT – Two vocations that often rely on one another tend to attract people with a similar desire: To solve problems benefiting their communities. The vocations are business and engineering.
Business turns to engineers to conceptualize and develop solutions to societal needs. Engineers depend on business leaders to overcome problems encountered in bringing these products to market.
That’s a key reason programs for these vocations at Baker College’s Flint campus focus on enhancing problem-solving skills by challenging students with real-world issues.
“The field attracts inquisitive people who want to solve problems to make their world a better place,” said Pattabhi Sitaram, Ph.D., Baker College of Flint program director for engineering.
Baker College offers bachelor’s degrees in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering.
Students gain theoretical knowledge in the classroom and tackle hands-on projects in the lab – individually, as a group or as a class project. Whether the project is a miniature race car created on a 3-D printer or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also called a drone, it advances a student’s knowledge and skills of the problem-solving process.
Sitaram said that Baker College is fortunate to work with many area employers that provide real-world, problem-solving opportunities for students.
Working professionals in the industry are instructors. Others serve on Baker College advisory boards, helping keep curricula up to date. Area employers also mentor students as interns and hire graduates. For many years, 100 percent of engineering students have been employed upon graduation.
“The programs are rigorous, but with small classes – the average is about 20 –students get personalized instruction,” Sitaram said.
“Business students look for ways to enhance the growth, efficiency and effectiveness of their organization,” said John Cote, Ph.D., Baker College of Flint director of business administration. “The ability to think creatively – outside the box – can help businesses succeed.”
The Flint campus offers bachelor’s degrees in accounting, human resource management, management, marketing and business administration accelerated, and an associate degree in business administration.
Baker College’s high-tech Center for Business is located in a recently renovated wing of the Undergraduate Studies Building.
From the lightweight, mobile furniture that can be quickly reconfigured to meet classroom needs to the multiple interactive whiteboards with video conferencing capabilities in all classrooms, the Center was designed to encourage collaboration and problem solving and to help students gain real-world business experience while earning their degrees.
“Student classrooms can connect with industry experts from around the world,” Cote said. “This opens minds and imaginations.”
Professional practitioners here also help drive curricula and serve as instructors, and company partnerships provide opportunity to students, engaging them to help solve real busi- ness issues.
“I was blessed to work with fantastic instructors at Baker College who are still actively employed in their profession,” said Shyla Tailor, of Goodrich, who earned a bachelor’s in accounting June 2016. “I gained additional perspective with an internship at Serra Automotive where the management staff has a strong background in finance, management and accounting in the retail automotive field.”
Her internship turned into a fulltime career position.
For more information about Baker College career programs, contact the admissions office at 810-766-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.baker.edu. The deadline for new student enrollment is Sept. 15, for classes that begin Sept. 26. — G.G.