Baylor Business Fellows program offers flexibility, community

The Baylor Business Fellows programs allows students to explore their interests inside and outside the business school. Mesha Mittanasala | Photographer

By Rory Dulock | Staff Writer

The Baylor Business Fellows program allows high-achieving students within the Hankamer School of Business to pursue a distinct, flexible four-year degree plan.

“Baylor Business Fellows is a unique BBA major that embraces your genuine intellectual curiosity, allowing you to combine business with other fields of study,” the Baylor Business Fellows website reads.

Abilene sophomore Connor Brown is a Business Fellow who is also majoring in economics and management. He said what brought him to the Business Fellows program was the ability to study in multiple areas across campus.

“When I was preparing for college, I felt strongly that I wanted to study across disciplines from many different areas, including business as well as some other things outside the business school,” Brown said. “I felt strongly that I wanted to be able to tailor my academic program of study to my interests. That was a huge factor for me in choosing Baylor and the Business Fellows program. I also was very impressed by the leadership of the Business Fellows program and how they stewarded the program and the students.”

Brown said Business Fellows are required to take 60 hours of coursework outside of the business school.

“That requires me and encourages students in the Business Fellows program to explore varying interests outside Business Fellows, outside business school,” Brown said. “We also have a fourth-level requirement that means we have to take four cumulative semesters of courses in a certain area outside the business school that applies to a major or minor. That’s often satisfied by a foreign language, by math, or if a business fellow is in a science major or minor, that can also apply.”

Brown said one of the factors of the Business Fellows program that makes it distinct is its faculty and advisers.

“I would say one of the defining features of this Business Fellows program is the advising — the way the Business Fellows, directors and advisers go about,” Brown said. “They have maintained a really good relationship with other departments inside and outside the business school, and they do a really good job connecting with students, making sure that students have all the resources they need.”

Brown said the Business Fellows program allows for a balance between exploring interests and challenging students in areas they are perhaps not as strong in.

“I would recommend the Business Fellows program to other students who want to challenge themselves to think, who want to study and explore broad interests,” Brown said. “But they should know that the Business Fellows program will challenge you. It will push you but also provide all the resources you need to be successful. I don’t think there’s much that Business Fellows can’t do. I would recommend it for people who want to do something unique and who want to make a mark.”

Abilene freshman Timothy Varghese is a Business Fellow who is also majoring in entrepreneurship, economics and finance, with a minor in religion. He said he was interested in the program because it allowed him to skip some prerequisites and have more flexibility.

“In high school, I took a lot of classes that I felt I wasn’t interested in, so coming to college, I really would have loved to take classes that fit my needs and that I would love to learn about, because I have a love of learning,” Varghese said.

Varghese said a unique aspect of being part of the Business Fellows program is the community.

“The people who lead the program are very personable. You can talk to them whenever. They give you great advice,” Varghese said. “And we have fun too. The people you get to meet, they aren’t always people you would have gotten to meet otherwise.”

Varghese said another distinct aspect of the program is the core values it holds and teaches. He said the values have even shown up in his coursework.

“At the beginning of your freshman year, you have to take a class, and the cool thing about the class is that they very much emphasized the importance of humility and fidelity. That was something that was really profound to me,” Varghese said. “Also their emphasis in faith too — one of the first assignments we ever did for the class was a theological reading, which is interesting, being in a business department.”

Varghese said the program is not for the faint of heart. However, he recommends it to students because it will make them work harder and strive to become better.

“I would say if you are planning to coast through college, if you’re planning to just have fun at every turn, Business Fellows may not be for you,” Varghese said. “But if you want to actually learn, if you feel that you can put in the work and actually want to become better, I feel like Fellows may be a nice route to go.”