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New Zarb building encourages student engagement

New Zarb building encourages student engagement

After the initial groundbreaking ceremony in 2017, the new Frank G. Zarb School of Business completed renovation on Monday, Jan. 28. The four-floor building features a new Center for Entrepreneurship featuring the ideaHUb, a behavioral research lab and an open environment to encourage collaboration among students.

“The building is very open and airy,” said Janet Lenaghan, dean of the Zarb School. “We wanted to make sure that we built in a lot of opportunities for students to interact with faculty.” 

“The space is absolutely amazing,” said Suveer Seemangal, a junior finance major. “The open floor plan they went for really gives you a collaborative feel.” 

The Center for Entrepreneurship received an award last year from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) for the “outstanding” emerging entrepreneurship center, said Stacy Sikes, executive dean for entrepreneurship and business development. It also contains programs for students and regional start-up businesses.

The ideaHUb within the Center for Entrepreneurship is meant to emulate the look and feel of a working environment within New York City and is home to business classes – including Entrepreneurship 115, a requirement for all undergraduate Zarb students – and events.  

“They bring a lot of great speakers in, a lot of executives that we’ve had the opportunity to meet with,” said Thomas Maciura, a senior management major. 

The new building seeks to provide students with real-life experiences that they can take into their chosen careers. 

“With the Smith student management fund, we’ve had exposure to actual industry research and what actually goes on in investment banks,” Maciura said.

Students can manage real money through the Student Management Investment Fund. “They have to analyze the market, analyze the stock,” Lengahan added. 

The second floor of the building features student club spaces where students can collaborate and continue their discussions outside of class. 

The Office of Graduate Career Relations incorporated a co-op program to assist Zarb graduate students in obtaining “co-op positions where they’re working six months at an employer as opposed to an internship which is a couple of times a week,” Lenaghan said. “This way it makes them that much more marketable when they get their degree.”

Additional features of the new building include interactive televisions that tell students what room their class is in, 3D printers, laser cutters and virtual reality. It also includes marketing tools such as a behavioral research lab with eye-tracking software and facial analysis. 

“One of the things that’s fascinating about the technology is that it picks up your emotions every third of a second,” said Dephna Motro, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship

“The goal of the [facial analysis] study was to look at how negative feedback interacts with an employee’s performance,” Lenaghan said.

The popularity of the new 52,000 square-foot building could spell trouble for students. 

“I think a challenge, per say, is managing how many students are using [the facilities],” Seemangal said. “They already ask that you register the time that you’ll be using the facilities.” 

He voiced that he felt the building should be open 24 hours.

The Zarb school offers a plethora of opportunities for students to constantly engage with one another and with faculty and implement their ideas into business prototypes and startups. 

Ramshaa Salian, a junior finance major, said, “It feels like a good environment to get work done in and the building is beautiful.”

A tour of the Zarb school will be offered to the public on Wednesday, Feb. 6 during common hour. 

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