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An Interview with the Dean
Dean Dr. Joyce T. Heames, Berry College's Campbell School of Business

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Dean Dr. Joyce T. Heames

When someone aspires to have a professional career in business, they must begin to search for a business education that involves the best preparation possible. The overwhelming amount of business schools and degree programs can be intimidating. How do you choose the right one? A variety of factual information can be found online about the business school, like cost, degree options, online offerings, accreditation, scholarships, class sizes, and student life, but what is the story behind these facts? What inspires the professors? What drives the direction of the curriculum? College Consensus had the liberty of connecting with Dr. Joyce T. Heames, Dean of the Campbell School of Business at Berry College, to find out the story. 

The private institution, Berry College, rests on 27,000 beautiful acres of land that include fountains, forests, fields, pools, and Lavender Mountain. It is the largest campus for a contiguous college in the world and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Located in Mount Berry, Georgia, the College was founded on Christian principles in 1902 and originally educated underprivileged youth. It now offers over 42 undergraduate majors and several Master’s degrees to over 2,100 students annually. Of these students, around 450 of them are studying undergraduate and graduate business degrees through the AACSB-accredited Campbell School of Business.

Students can major in Economics, Accounting, International Business, Finance, Management, Creative Technologies, or Marketing. To expand their area of expertise, students can choose to minor in Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Creative Technologies, Economics, or Social Entrepreneurship. Graduate students have an excellent Masters in Business Administration program with optional tracks in Professional Management, Professional Accountancy, or Healthcare Management.

Another great asset Berry College provides that is beneficial for business students is the Center for Student Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development. This Center encourages and helps develop an entrepreneurial mindset through mentorship, competitions, and integrating entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the curriculum. College Consensus has ranked Berry College among the Best Regional Universities – South, Best Mountain Colleges, and Most Beautiful College Campuses in the Fall.  

To get a better picture of the Campbell School of Business, College Consensus asked Dr. Heames:

  • Please tell us about your business school, and what makes it unique?
  • How do you support your business students to leverage them into a career after graduation?
  • Is there anything going on within your business education community that you are particularly excited about?
  • What can you tell us about your online offerings?
  • Anything else you would like to say about your programs and school?

Dr. Heames replied:

The Campbell School of Business at Berry College strives to provide the rare and powerful combination of an excellent liberal arts-based business education by immersing students in a rigorous and relevant curriculum that engages Berry’s College’s institutional values of the Head, Heart, and Hands

The Campbell School has a long tradition of offering students a variety of opportunities for engagement with our faculty, staff, alumni, business leaders, and community. We believe these opportunities allow students to apply the concepts and theories learned in the classroom to real-world experiences and challenges. The Campbell School fully supports the College’s “Berry Compact,” which offers a “purposeful, four-year plan that integrates mentorship, reflection, and hands-on learning. In turn, students contribute their ideas and hard work to make Berry and the larger world better.” 

Chart your path. Find your purpose.

First accredited by AACSB in 2006, Berry College’s Campbell School of Business offers undergraduate degrees in accounting, creative technologies, economics, finance, management, marketing, and a dual major in international business. Undergraduate minors in business, creative technologies, economics, entrepreneurship and innovation, and social entrepreneurship, are available to complement any non-business major across campus. All business majors complete a common core that covers business fundamentals, such as markets and society, probability and statistics, law and ethics, and economics. Outside of the core business curriculum, Campbell works diligently to assists students in developing communication skills, improve leadership skills, foster ethical decision making, and stimulate critical thinking.  

Creating an environment where our students can apply the skills learned with a holistic view is important to our business faculty. Through interactions with peers, professors, alumni, and on-campus staff, students are encouraged in their studies, develop personally and spiritually, and pursue their passions with an emphasis on serving others. Berry is committed to a vibrant education in a residential, on-campus community. Therefore, it offers a minimal number of online courses, primarily in the summer, to facilitate student travel and internships.

Work a job. Build a life.

Through Berry’s LifeWorks program, students have guaranteed access to eight semesters of paid, professional development experiences, right on campus. Beginning on day one, students explore career options, build relationships, and take a hands-on role in their education. At the core of the program, students are provided on-campus work opportunities in various job types and responsibilities, many related to a student’s field of study. All students begin in a level 1 position, with on-the-job training and the completion of online training modules via LinkedIn Learning (i.e., certifications through Microsoft, SalesForce, Google Analytics, etc.), they develop additional skill sets. They can then move on to more complex tasks such as overseeing operations or managing budgets and projects, thus higher pay. On average, students work 10 hours weekly through this innovative program, earning nearly $9,000 by the time that they graduate. 

Berry has a high percentage of non-white students and faculty (22% of students and 26% of faculty). This diversity brings a cultural richness to classroom interactions. Moreover, Berry has a 90% residential student population, contributing to strong student engagement across academics and campus activities.  

Campbell alumni identify strongly with the school and are actively engaged in various ways, including advisory board service, invited speakers, and judges in classes or events. They serve as mentors and advisors for students regarding networking, internship, career opportunities, and support the school through fundraising. Campbell’s Young Professional Advisory Council (CYPAC), which is composed of recent alum, provides first-hand assistance to our students for employment advice and guidance on the transition to the workplace.

The degree to which Berry students identify with Berry’s mission and its founder, Martha Berry, is a definite advantage. The College continues to further its founder’s focus of providing students with a comprehensive education of the Head, the Heart, and the Hands. Her motto endures: “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” The same guiding principles established by Martha Berry are still embraced by today’s students: strong work ethic, integrity, resourcefulness, and a willingness to serve.  

Find Your Second Family. Make Yourself a Home.

The warmth of our campus culture is important to us.  As a valued member of the Berry family, students find a comfortable place to explore their interests, express their ideas, and practice their beliefs. Regardless of background or academic focus, student life in this community will be filled with excitement, friendship, and support.

Berry has 75 student-run clubs and organizations, plus 21 varsity sports teams. As members of the NCAA Division III, our teams frequently compete for Southern Athletic Association Championships. Spirituality plays a role in the experience at Berry College. Berry College was founded on Christian principles but welcomes students from all walks of life and religious traditions. Students can enjoy the largest campus in the world, reaching across 27,000-acres. While the campus is expansive, class sizes remain small, with an average enrollment of 20:1 and student to teacher ratio of 12:1. Students can enjoy the outdoors through biking, kayaking, hiking over 80 miles of trails, and using provided materials for camping.

College Consensus logoCrucial Characteristics

Skill Development: As in any industry and with any career, skill development is vital to the training process. You cannot perform a job well without the necessary knowledge and skills to do so. Although there is pertinent knowledge obtained from the books, lectures, and experience of the professors, Campbell’s business students find a great deal of opportunity to gain skills both inside and outside the classroom. In the world of business, professionals need to know how to communicate clearly in many different ways and have the ability to think critically. It is also essential to be able to lead others well and make accurate decisions ethically. Campbell prioritizes developing these skills in every business student and giving them opportunities to apply them throughout the educational process.   

Professional Development: The primary purpose of any business school is to best prepare students to succeed in the professional business world. Campbell takes pride in the caliber of professional development opportunities the College provides for every business student. One of the main opportunities includes the innovative LifeWorks program, where students work various jobs on Berry’s campus throughout their degree program. They receive on-the-job training and earn an income while developing professional skills and experience before they even graduate.     

Community: We have all heard the saying, “Two are better than one.” Most people are inspired to accomplish more and to be their best selves when supported by a community. Campbell has created an inclusive and supportive environment for students to find a community amongst their peers, faculty, and staff. It is a home away from home. This sense of community is vital for students in their personal and professional development. Dr. Heames mentions several avenues Campbell provides to build community, including various student organizations, campus activities, varsity sports teams, and plenty of ways to explore the outdoors. Also, spirituality is a big deal on campus, and students from all different beliefs and backgrounds can experience community with one another. Although the campus is the largest in the world, Campbell offers small class sizes to keep students focused and connected to their professors and classmates. There is no doubt business students become part of a tight-knit community at the Campbell School of Business.