Ernst & Young Center for Career Advancement Dedication
By: Youngjae Yoo
Friday, November 19, 2008, was an afternoon that filled the atrium of the Business Instructional Facility with an air of professionalism and camaraderie. The new Business Instructional Facility that opened its doors to students at the beginning of this past semester unveiled yet another door to one of the most important services available to the students in the College of Business, the Ernst and Young Center for Career Advancement.
Professor Ira Solomon, the head of the accountancy department acted as emcee for the grand opening cutting ceremony that marked and celebrated the special relationship between the College of Business and Ernst & Young LLC. Some of the speakers at the ceremony included influential members of the faculty such as, Professor Solomon, Provost Linda Katehi, Director of the career center Lois Meerdink, as well as Illinois alumni such as Mr. Jim Cook and Mr. Tom Vogelsinger. While many reflected on the different changes that the College of Business has experienced and welcomed back Illinois alumni of Ernst & Young, there were practical advice and statements made about the dynamic nature of the business world as well. One of the guests in attendance for the ceremony was Mr. James Turley, the Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young. As he took to the podium, Mr. Turley talked about the ever changing, transformational crises facing the business world. After reminding the guests that the current financial crisis will eventually pass, Mr. Turley addressed the constant shifts being made in the demographics and capital of the business world. Emphasizing the prominence of impermanence in the business world, Mr. Turley talked about how important it is to be aware of how different the rest of the world is from the US and how Ernst & Young values the importance of understanding how diversity drives the business world. Mr. Turley also addressed another issue that is often overlooked in conducting business, which is that bad business decisions actually carry consequences and tremendous impact as seen by the current financial crisis and trouble in the stock market.
All of the speeches made during the ceremony further affirmed the importance of better preparing students for the business world and providing the best resources in doing so. As the afternoon’s festivities came to an end, all of the guests, including Illinois alumni, were asked to sing Hail to the Orange as lead by Dean Victor Mullins and watch the ribbon cutting ceremony for the career center. As seen through the tone of the afternoon’s events, it seems that the Ernst & Young Center for Career Advancement will no doubt provide the students in the College of Business with better resources to employ in their career search and further strengthen the special partnership that the College of Business has enjoyed with Ernst & Young.