Very few universities connect students with faculty like George Fox does. I’ve had insightful late-night conversations with professors, and even been invited over for Thanksgiving when I didn’t have anywhere else to go. Recently, I was shown once again just how committed the faculty at George Fox is to meeting students where they’re at.
As a management major who’s graduating this May, I’ve definitely been feeling the pressure to find a job and figure the rest of my life out – like that’s going to happen in the next two months. When I expressed to Dirk Barram, the dean of the business department and one of my professors, how frustrated and helpless I was feeling a week ago, he immediately offered to treat me to lunch and give me his undivided attention. So a couple weeks ago I met Dirk in his office and we walked to the Bon (the cafeteria on campus), got lunch and sat at a table in the back. He started asking me questions about what I wanted to do, and immediately offered me suggestions of potential contacts he knew and could talk to for me. I was surprised at how much better I felt after talking to Dirk for only a few minutes. He assured me that few people find their dream career right away, that I’ll eventually figure out what my passion in the business world is, and that I will manage to survive the dark stretch from midterms to graduation.
After talking for about 10 minutes, a couple other business students joined us at our table. When you’re as friendly and invested in students as Dirk is, it’s hard to have a private conversation. After the four of us finished eating and were walking back to the business office, Dirk offered to meet us for lunch every Thursday until the end of the semester. I was shocked. I know that Dirk is incredibly busy and stressed, just like I am, but the fact that he’s willing to set aside an hour outside of classes every week to just talk about life touched me.
As an intern in the admissions office, people often ask me why I chose to pay more in tuition to come to a school like George Fox. All I have to do is explain my connection with professors like Dirk, and it quickly becomes obvious that the relationships I’ve forged here are the kind you can’t put a price on.