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professional man works to attain and maintain a privileged position and a high standing in his community. Any profit connected with that work is, in a measure, incidental. The standing he attains in his community is a part of his reward. Furthermore, he works for progress in his profession-medicine, theology, or whatever it may be. The business man devotes himself to his business for gain, for profit, primarily; while the professional man follows his pursuit for the attainment of a privileged position. These distinctions seem to me to be conclusive as against the claim that you can train business men up to the high plane occupied by the professional man. Certainly business has not yet attained to anything like a professional status. I believe, however, that with the development of education there will be a marked rise in the standards of business men in business pursuits.
PROPER USE OF BUSINESS EXPERTS IN CLASS INSTRUCTION ON DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN COMMERCE (SYMPOSIUM).
The following are the authors' abstracts of papers presented at this symposium:
Mr. ROGER W. BABSON, president of Babson's Statistical Bureau, Wellesley Hills, Mass.-The president of one of our country's great industrial organizations asked me concerning the best college to which to send his son, whom he desired to fit to become vice president of the great corporation and eventually to have entire charge of its investments, property, and employees. I suggested a general four-year course at some university and two additional years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or four years at the institute and then two years at the Harvard School of Business Administration. He agreed that either of these would be an ideal combination, but he believed six years was, in this instance, too long. This incident well illustrates the position which many men take relative to higher education for administrative positions, and I hope to see some institution soon make definite provision for meeting this well-justified demand. The first year of such a course might be identical with the courses at any college, while in the second year the student might take up, with the general work common to the engineering courses, the study of bookkeeping and business mathematics and begin the study of applied economics. The third year he might specialize along the lines of options and begin the practical engineering work most applicable to the special option chosen. If the student decided to enter manufacturing, he should then take up some fairly advanced studies in mechanical engineering. If he decided to enter the transportation business, he should take strong courses in railroad engineering and electrical engineering. If he intended to go into banking or general business, he should study the financial side of railroad and industrial enterprises, as well as the more advanced features connected with general banking.
The main reason why I am anxious to have schools establish such courses of commercial training is because at the present time there are no such combined courses provided. The establishment of such courses in any school would greatly help the institution on the public and financial side by causing the leaders of industry to interest themselves more directly in its work and by attracting young men of wealth seeking to prepare themselves for administrative positions. There is, however, a far greater reason why all of us should aid in establishing a course in commercial training. I refer to our Nation's need for men trained along these lines. Every feature of mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering has been taught in its minutest details; but to the great fundamental factors of trade, upon which the ultimate progress of all
our industrial, electrical, and transportation enterprises rests, we have given only the briefest consideration. For this reason, probably more than any other, we so long had to endure one of the poorest monetary and credit systems on the face of the globe. Young men are graduated from our universities utterly unable to discuss intelligently the fundamental principles of credit, trade, and conservation. Our people are wasting their resources, misdirecting their efforts, and playing at politics because the graduates of our colleges are not thoroughly grounded in applied economics.
Mr. EDWARD N. HURLEY, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission of the United States.-Professional and business activities were once limited by national boundaries, but to-day the pursuit of any profession or occupation is likely to lead into the foreign field. Only political boundaries now remain; economic and industrial frontiers have been swept away. The business man, more frequently than any other now, becomes a citizen of the world. As foreign trade increases, the question of industrial efficiency and of the fitness of the business man of to-day becomes more important. This touches particularly the college student, to whom the business man of the present, versed in the requirements of the domestic market, must eventually pass over the reins. A manufactured article never sells itself abroad as does a bushel of wheat. It must either fill a new demand or displace a like product from another country. And the early detection of the new demand requires as much, if not more, skill and organization than does the attainment of superiority in quality over the rival British or German article.
While the boys of the United States, have been educated to the responsibilities of domestic trade, a large percentage of the youth of Europe has been specially trained for foreign commerce. In languages, in world-business practice, in banking, and in shipping law they have been painstakingly instructed, and thus each of our great competitors has a huge army of capable young foreign traders familiar with the rules and phraseology of world trade, subjects of which all but a comparatively few Americans are ignorant.
Nothing would enable the college student to grasp the significance of foreign trade so quickly as a contact in the classroom with men prominent in the foreign business of the United States. Men who are directly in touch with foreign competition can furnish detailed and practical information obtainable nowhere else, and in addition they will inspire the student with the enthusiasm which comes only from personal touch with big affairs. My intention is not to undervalue the systematic teaching of foreign languages, banking and shipping laws, commercial geography, and the intelligent use of statistics, cost accounting and bookkeeping, and, in fact, a general systematic course in foreign trade. These are, of course, essential. I think, however, that such a course should be supplemented from time to time by lectures of experts from the business world. These men will make the student realize the vital relation between his studies and the conquest of foreign markets and give him enthusiasm for achievement over our foreign competitors.
MR. E. T. GUNDLACH, of the Gundlach Advertising Co., Chicago, Ill.—Recent college experiments in the use of business men as class lecturers prove, in spite of many failures, that the innovation can be made a success. But the talent must be carefully sifted, then coached in advance, and properly restricted. This conclusion may be stated with considerable confidence, for it is the unanimous verdict, both as regards the value and the limitation of the plan, of 15 leading universities. In several institutions, notably at Harvard University, experiments were begun early and have ripened into a system. This past
experience, combining encouragement and warning, may serve as a guide to other colleges which, it is hoped, will begin similar work.
But before business experts can be used more largely and more successfully in our universities, attention must be called to the difficulties. In the first place, courses entirely in the hands of business experts, through a series of lectures, are nearly all failures. A regular teacher must take charge, mapping out the course and assigning subjects. In other words, there must be a master mind, a director, continuously in charge. In the second place, the detail of each subject must be sketched out. It appears almost necessary to tell each business expert exactly the limits within which he is to speak, perhaps even giving him the questions in trade or manufacture to which the lecture is to be a reply. Many outsiders, upon appearing before a class of students, proceed to air their views on business ethics and on life in general. It is important to tell these business men that they are asked to speak because they know a subject, that other subjects are covered by other lecturers, and that each speaker will please confine himself strictly to his theme. In the third place, the lecturers must be thoroughly prepared. They must be notified long in advance, and they must be asked to work up not one lecture of an hour, but, let us say, one lecture of three or four hours, and then to condense it into 50 or 55 minutes; for one of the most common complaints made by the universities appears to be that half the lecturers come without having much of anything to say, merely talking in a general way and sometimes closing before the hour is half over.
Mr. WALLACE D. SIMMONS, chairman, committee on education of the National Foreign Trade Council, New York City.-The National Foreign Trade Council, through its committee on education for foreign trade, has obtained from several hundred American manufacturers, merchants, exporters, bankers, etc., expressions with reference to our present methods of education and the extent to which they offer to our young people an adequate opportunity to get a thorough grounding for successful service in connection with foreign trade, either in work in the home office or in the foreign field. The opinions expressed and the suggestions made cover a wide field and a great variety of ideas. One can not help being impressed, however, with the extent to which a large percentage of the replies point to certain few fundamental defects in our educational systems which exist to-day in most of the school districts of this country. These defects appear both in our elementary and our secondary schools. The opinion was generally expressed that the changes most needed are (1) an improvement in the ability to write a business letter expressed in terse grammatical English, (2) the ability to figure accurately and rapidly, and (3) a thorough knowledge of geography both of our own country and of the world at large.
Through the cooperation of business men, it may be possible for the educators of the country to impress our students more thoroughly with the importance of these fundamental things, and also to impress their parents with the relative value of thoroughness in them. The field of opportunity in this direction is so vast and the present variety of available information so great as to make it an exceedingly puzzling problem to know how to begin to coordinate our efforts in some general movement that will make for effectiveness. Other nations have been giving this subject very much more thought and attention than we have during the past one or two generations. If we can not at first cover the whole field in such a way as to enable us to get as favorable results, we should find a way to concentrate on a few fundamentals and expand from them. If we can get the educators of this whole country to teach these few things and teach them as well as they are being taught to the youth of other nationalities, we shall have made a long step forward, and will make possible
further development approaching the standards of our competitors for the trade of the world.
DR. HARBY E. BARD, secretary of the Pan American Society of the United States. In the preparation for a career in foreign commerce four things seem to me to be of essential importance: (1) A complete course of study of constructive character, which would represent the experience and wisdom of various competent authorities in the field; (2) special methods for the different subjects which go to make up the course of study, including a complete outline of subject matter, proper method of presentation, classroom technique, etc., for each; (3) professionally trained teachers, having each a mastery of the subject matter, special method, etc., of the subject he is to teach and a good understanding of the relation of this subject to the whole; (4) business experts competent to supplement the efforts of the professionally trained teachers by lecturing on special topics in accordance with the general plan and method under the immediate guidance and direction of the teacher in charge, bringing to the students something of the knowledge and experience gained in practical foreign commerce life.
The number of different subjects which merit consideration in preparing a satisfactory course of study is large, and the work of choosing the most important and of organizing these so as to meet at once the demands of pedagogical science and the practical requirements of foreign commerce is such as to engage the best thought and efforts of those most competent for the task.
The work of developing a special method for each of the subjects included in the course of study is even more important. The selection and organization in detailed outline of the subject matter and the development of proper method of treatment and classroom technique can not ordinarily be left entirely to the individual teacher, although room should be left always for the exercise by the teacher of personal initiative and some reasonable measure of original thought. The work of business experts must be considered, and careful thought given to the nature of the subject matter which these experts will be expected to present and its proper relation to the whole.
The business expert will, of course, be a person practically engaged in the field of foreign commerce, who has a special message and is competent to present it. The topic of his lecture will have very definite relation to the subject as a whole. The students will be prepared to appreciate his message by previous instruction and assigned reading, which will be further driven home by subsequent classroom discussions and examinations. Occasional lectures on unrelated topics, even by the most competent business experts, will not give satisfactory results.
MR. B. OLNEY HOUGH, editor of the American Exporter and author of the well-known textbook on exporting.-Schools, and especially colleges, too often disdain not only the motions, but the very spirit of work in the business world for which they profess to be preparing boys and young men, devoting themselves wholly to what may be called the higher aspects of commerce, to theories of tariff and finance, to pure economics, if there is such a thing, instead of to applied business science. On the other hand, it is certain that few business men have either the inclination or the time to take any active or personal interest in the progress of the employees in their own offices. Our apprenticeship system, lacking or woefully weak in the trades, absolutely does not exist in the office.
Undoubtedly the business man can profitably be utilized in schemes for more practical business education, especially in view of the intensifying conscious
ness of civil and national responsibilities, which is so encouraging a characteristic of the times. Business men are to be found who not only are masters in a broad way, as well as in detail, of the principles and minutiæ of their own affairs, but who are generously disposed to do what they can to raise the plane of the country's business life. But none of them are teachers. To ask business men to take into their offices for practical work boys or young men who are spending a part of their day in the schools is, theoretically, an ideal plan, coupling educational equipment, textbook training in theory and the reasons why" with actual, routine, day-to-day business transactions, and furthermore cultivating habits of method and application. Such opportunities may be earnestly sought and eagerly embraced, but are almost certain to be few. It is to be doubted if any considerable number of employers will be willing to suffer the really severe tax on their time and the inevitable disruption in their offices which such a course is bound to occasion, if the young men are to receive real assistance, even attention. On the other hand, if business men are only to be relied upon as lecturers, supplementing school and college courses, then it will probably be the part of the professional teacher to take his business man in hand, and, through a joint study of the situation, in a spirit of mutual helpfulness, together map out clearly and definitely the exact lines of the business lecture.
The criticism which I have had to make of certain experiments during the last year or two, with business men's talks on export trade to classes in New York, has been that lecturers have been given, or have been allowed to choose, subjects at once too broad and too deep-subjects whose adequate discussion would probably involve a series of 10 or 20 lectures.
The benevolence of manufacturers and merchants of the United States has freely been bestowed on trade and technical schools. Can it not be wisely extended to schools of commerce of a broader description? I have always been particularly attracted by the bourses de voyage offered by many a European chamber of commerce to prize students in local business schools, I especially remember reading two really interesting and informing theses submitted after a year of business experience, respectively, in Hamburg and Manchester by students holding such prizes from the chamber of commerce of Algiers. Why should not our American, North, Central, and South American, business men and chambers of commerce similarly encourage commercial students, encourage them by making it easy to acquire that actual acquaintance with and experience in other lands which is indispensable to the closer understanding, sympathy, and community of interests which we preach and seek? To the personal assistance of individual business men to higher commercial education let there be added the broader interests of manufacturers' associations and local chambers of commerce. Support, help, encouragement of individuals is necessary and good. Better, maybe, the official recognition by important bodies of business men of business students' diligence and success. Students from Latin America, following many different courses, are plentiful in schools of all descriptions in the United States; the working, business, postgraduate student from North American commercial colleges is unknown in Latin America.
DR. JOHN F. CROWELL, Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York.The expert should not be put in charge of directing and instructing those contemplating a commercial career. Commercial education is not well enough organized, however, on the part of teachers to dispense with the specialist. The kind of specialist will depend somewhat on the course of instruction included in the curriculum. For the undergraduate school the general results