On Tuesday November 8, 2011 the Pioneer Club welcomed Dr. Laura Hills, President of Blue Pencil Institute, to Virginia International University to address students, staff, and faculty on the topic of excellence. Dr. Hills gave students the opportunity to create their own Personal Excellence Plan by asking self assessment questions and encouraging group discussions. Dr. Hills taught participants how attitude, skills and professionalism can encourage excellence.
Abdelhakim Haddadi, an MBA student from Algeria said, “Dr. Hills gave us tips to review our attitude and a way to use our skills and work on our own personality, because it is part of professionalism.”
Dr. Hills is no stranger to Virginia International University. She is a former professor and academic administrator at VIU where she taught both academic English and English as a Second Language and served as an academic department chair.
Gabriella Fideles, an MBA student from Brazil said, “I have heard Dr. Hills speak before, and there is always something to learn from her wisdom. She helps you see your professional life in a different light and helps you think about your career and where you are going.”
Dr. Hills emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive attitude in addition to working on a skill set in the workplace. She told the students, “If you have the skills but not the attitude, it will be difficult to excel.”
Ana Karina Venancio Da Silva, an MBA student from Angola, highlighted the learning she experienced outside of the classroom. “I learned a lot about attitude and professionalism. It is always beneficial hearing from someone who is in the field using their knowledge. It is more than just theories that we learn in a classroom. This topic really applies to our lives as students and young professionals,” said Ana Karina Venancio Da Silva, and MBA student from Angola.
Virginia International University opened it’s doors in 1998 and currently enrolls students from over 50 countries and is located in Fairfax, VA and is fully accredited. The mission of VIU is to educate students from all over the world through a highly qualified, equally diverse faculty and staff while striving to provide academic programs that engender the intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity urgently needed in the global community.