stevengerrardYou can learn a lot by watching football. Not the one we play here on plastic grass with helmets and shoulder pads.  I mean the game the rest of the world calls football.


This weekend I was lamenting yet another poor showing by the club I follow, Liverpool. Dean Jarley also happens to be a Liverpool fan.  Since misery loves company, I immediately texted him after our loss to Hull City.  One of his observations was that maybe we weren’t tall enough.  Good point.


One of the things I love about the game that the world calls football is its inclusiveness. You don’t have to be seven feet tall or 300 pounds.  Kids and adults play around the world with a patch of ground and a tattered ball.  Lionel Messi, the current, “best there ever was” is actually an inch shorter than me.

But, there aren’t many Messi’s. Nor are there many Ronaldo’s, Pele’s, Maradona’s or Zultan’s.  For the most part, to rise to a certain level in the game (living comfortably off what you get paid to play), you have to be some good combination of everything.  Tall, fast, skillful, and strategic.  Not just one, but enough of all of these that you’re effective and impactful.  And you can’t just play one position.  Goaltenders have to have good ball handling skills.  Good defense starts with your strikers.  And good striking means being able to pass or shoot with either foot; from a set piece or at full speed.


In other words, though a select few may be specialists, most good footballers are generalists. Which takes me back to our College.  Too often, academic curricula aim to create nothing but subject matter experts; graduates who are versed in Accounting, Aerospace Engineering, and Microbiology.  Which is great if you are going to work for a public accounting firm, design airplanes, or study viruses.  But what if you have more general career interests?


That’s why I love our Integrated Business program. Most business schools have a General Business track that’s a lot like eating dinner at Golden Corral.  You go down the schedule, pick what you want, and almost always end up with a schedule that’s very brown.  Nothing stands out.  And nothing is connected.  At least nothing important.  Chicken tenders here.  A potato thing with cheese.  Mac and cheese.  Fried cheese….  Mmmm, cheese.  It’s easy and convenient.


Our Integrated Business degree addresses cheesy curricula by integrating the subjects. How do businesses make Marketing decisions based on financial data and available Human Resources?  How are financial projections impacted by Human Resources projections?  What are the tools and technologies that businesses employ in all of these areas?


In other words, it’s not what’s easy or convenient. But, it’s effective and I think it’s the best choice of major for most students.  It prepares you to defend, and it prepares you to score.  From box to box; inside or outside.  From the corner or arch.  In other words, if the Integrated Business program was a footballer, it’d be Steven Gerrard!