By Brooks Whitehurst
Business Insider recently ranked Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business 11th in the nation among business schools for its networking power.
The rankings were based off of information gathered by GraduatePrograms.com, which surveyed over 70,000 graduate students and asked them to rate their schools for value of network.
Dr. Terry Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business, described networking as simply facilitating an ongoing connection between alumni, and between alumni and Baylor.
“When someone comes to Baylor we don’t want that relationship to stop at commencement,” Maness said. “There is a lifetime of relationship that we want to facilitate.”
The primary arm of networking for Baylor business alumni is the Baylor Business Network, which was started in 2002. It is an extension network under the umbrella of the Baylor Alumni Network.
Maness said one of the main goals of the Baylor Business Network is to facilitate continuing interaction among Baylor graduates, and to create a platform for providing professional resources.
One such resource, Maness said, is the ability to provide alumni with connections to other alumni if they happen to move to a new city.
“It allows people to plug in to a new community when moving to a new place,” Maness said. “It helps you connect very quickly to people that you’ve got a common bond with.”
Robert Ingram, director of the Baylor Business Network, said one reason the Baylor Business Network stands out among hundreds of other programs nationwide is because of how active it remains.
“Anyone can just come to a Baylor sporting event,” Ingram said. “But we’re always trying to keep Baylor on the forefront. One way we do that is by having regular events and meetings.”
Baylor Business Network branches such as the Dallas chapter meet every first Tuesday of the month.
The network has 53 events planned nationwide for the week of Oct. 7 alone.
Maness said the only thing Baylor needs to make it to the top of the list is time.
“We’ve only been at it for 12 years,” Maness said. “All we need is to continue.”
While business is in the title, Maness pointed out that the Baylor Business Network isn’t only for those with a business degree.
Rather, he said that the network is there to provide professional resources to any Baylor alumni that want them.
Maness said that he wasn’t aware of the survey, which was the main source of information for the rankings.
“It’s encouraging that we have independent confirmation from our alumni,” Maness said. “The ranking means that we’re allowing people to make meaningful connections, and it’s confirmation that a dream is beginning to pay off.”
In a traditional sense, networking means connecting alumni to other alumni, Ingram said, but Baylor has the additional goal of helping alumni stay connected to campus.
“We’ve got alumni all over who may not know, for example, that we’re building a new business school,” Ingram said. “Our goal is to bring a little bit of Baylor to people who aren’t in Waco.”