School of Business Administration

Beta Gamma Sigma transforms from wallflower to winner of Highest Honors

icon of a calendarSeptember 14, 2021

icon of a pencilBy Emily Morris

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Beta Gamma Sigma transforms from wallflower to winner of Highest Honors

Alexis Harp and Meaghan Cole holding an award.
Oakland University’s Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) chapter prevailed through the pandemic thanks to the commitment of 38 new members, a handful of existing students and the guidance of adviser Meaghan Cole, earning Highest Honors recognition from the Global BGS organization. Meaghan Cole, Ed.D., experiential programs manager, OU School of Business, and Alexis Harp, marketing student and BGS president of marketing, celebrate the chapter’s recognition. Photo by Emily Morris.

The work of dedicated Oakland business students and their adviser Meaghan Cole, Ed.D., experiential programs manager, earned Oakland University’s Beta Gamma Sigma chapter the Highest Honors recognition from the Global BGS organization. The honor recognizes the diligence required to elevate the stature of BGS on campus. It also serves as a testament to the commitment of OU BGS leaders to relaunch and transform the organization during tumultuous times.

Though interest in the BGS, an invitation-only honors society for students of AACSB-accredited business schools, was dwindling, the organization continued to offer educational and professional benefits as well as connection to a global community for accomplished OU business students.

As an adviser to OU students in the Business Honors Program, Business Ambassadors and Business Scholars, Cole believed involvement in BGS would further enhance their curricular and co-curricular experiences. She seized the opportunity to breathe new life into the organization, starting to rebuild it just before COVID-19 restrictions began in early 2020.

“We decided we couldn’t let a pandemic stop this,” Cole said. Through virtual meetings, Oakland business students stepped up and formed an executive board. Dividing and conquering, Cole worked with Lisa Peterson, assistant to the Business School dean, to streamline the admission letter process: each sending hundreds of letters to students. Interest in the organization skyrocketed, increasing from very few students the previous year to 38.

Cole and the BGS leaders teamed with Juan Carlos Mendez, information systems analyst for the OU business school, to revamp OU’s BGS database to establish an online platform. From there, the OU BGS e-board planned and hosted two virtual events each month.

“We held all of our activities and events online last school year, and we had good attendance and engagement with our members,” said Alexis Harp, BGS president of marketing. “I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.”

Since last spring, BGS hosted engagement, professional skill development, BGS awareness and community service events. At the end of the year, Cole submitted a record of all the students’ involvement, which contributed to the Highest Honors recognition.

“Together we built a dynamic program, making us fortunate enough to earn Highest Honors,” said Cole.

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