Growing up in rural West Tennessee in the 1960s and 1970s, there were few if any opportunities for employment. After graduation from Huntingdon High School, I went directly into the Air Force. After basic training, I became an F4 jet aircraft mechanic. Upon successful completion of the training, my first duty station was Clark Air Base, Philippines.
Other employment doors opened because of my military experience. I ultimately was employed by NASA, the IRS, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, AAA Hoosier Motor Club, Hyatt Legal Services, Lane Bryant, Jackson Madison County General Hospital, Regional Hospital, JACOA, Lane College and DeVilbiss Air Power Company, just to name a few. Little did I know that simply taking a chance when a door opened would lead to the job of my dreams with Bethel, which now includes heading up the Organizational Research Project and serving on several executive-track project committees.
I share my firsthand experiences in both graduate and undergraduate classes, using stories from my past experiences to help students grasp new concepts. The stories help bring the subject matter alive. I want every student to know that it’s important to have an end goal in mind by using a Plan A and B. The lesson becomes: We must always have a goal in mind that we want to achieve, and that end goal must be approached in more than one way. This is where critical thinking plays a role. Not only must students see the end goal, they must prepare to see an opportunity — and take a calculated risk to achieve that goal.
Dr. Dorothy Black is a fulltime facilitator in the Bethel MBA Program. She enjoys showing students the application of the course work to real-world business situations.