Business 101

The greater good.


Apply to be a Business 101 Section Leader!



You belong to many communities, including your family, your friends, your college and university, and the larger society of which we’re all members. As a business leader, you help shape society, and it’s your responsibility to contribute to it by making ethical decisions. That’s why professional responsibility is incorporated into every element of your ILLINOIS experience.

It all starts with Business 101: An Introduction to Professional Responsibility, which is required for all undergrads in the College of Business. It’s a unique course, developed in collaboration among faculty, the Office of Undergraduate Affairs, and the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society.

Through three modules and recurring “two-minute challenges,” you’ll be introduced to the basic principles of professional responsibility and their applications. The course is taught in a combination of large lectures and small sections.

In the large lectures, faculty address ways to develop professional responsibility as an individual, in a profession, and as a member of organizations that play a critical role in society. You’ll learn to develop a strong sense of what it means to participate in communities of all kinds–and why it’s important to take on responsibility and accountability as a member of these communities.

The small sections are facilitated by your peers, experienced undergrads who’ve been selected and educated in more depth about professional responsibility. They’ll provide guidance and encourage discussion in an interactive setting with engaging individual activities and group work.

Module One: Personal Responsibilities

Business 101 provides a structured way for you to develop yourself as a member of the business community. You’ll create a formal resume, learn how to use the College of Business online career development tools, enhance your written and oral communication skills, consider your values and how to match them to those of potential employers, get advice on how to dress for success, and build relationships with alumni and corporate representatives through a formal career fair.

Module Two: Professional Responsibilities

You’ll continue to examine your personal values, learn about principles of workplace responsibility, and identify connections between them. You’ll explore professional dilemmas and develop constructive ways to approach them using an ethical decision-making framework. You will learn about corporate governance and accountability and what your role in them will be at various stages in your career.

Module Three: Societal responsibilities

You’ll learn how business can be professionally responsible to society as a whole. In this module, you’ll be part of a team that devises business solutions to poverty-based market opportunities. You’ll be introduced to subsistence marketplaces through a poverty simulation, lectures, and virtual immersion exercises. Skills from all three modules are combined as you develop a product idea and business plan that emphasizes people, planet, and profits. The capstone project is a poster session demonstrating your team’s complete product for a subsistence economy, including your corporate mission statement, governance model, ethical code and a business plan.

Questions? Contact the Business 101 team.

Larry DeBrock, Course Director
Gretchen Winter, Executive Director, Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society
Ruth Badger, Support Team
Celeste Richardson, Support Team

Business 101 Team Office
1055 East Gregory Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Advising: (217) 333-2740
Fax: (217) 244-9992