“As a first or second year student at U.Va., what’s the toughest decision you’ve made?” I recently asked my Liberal Arts and the World or Work class.
Guest lecturer Lily West, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Scout Guide, challenged the group with ethical dilemmas she has faced in her career. Lily engaged the students and forced them to think about their decisions and the ramifications—I enjoyed how she toyed with them, as she took the opposite side of the decision when a student had the courage to take a stand. I saw them stretching and learning. Here’s a few responses from their blogs:
I found the ethical decisions that we had to debate in class to be a little overwhelming.
This class has made me realize that I’m not the one who screwed up, the other person was and at the end of the day if I can go to sleep with a clear conscious at night that’s all that really matters.
One of the biggest takeaways I received from the class was that it is possible to follow your own moral code and achieve success in your career.
All of this being said, I don’t think there is a cut and dry answer.
So when I prodded on the “toughest decision” question, eventually someone acknowledged that choosing a college was a tough decision, or choosing a sorority recently was tough. We discussed how they made those decisions, who were the stakeholders involved, why the decision was tough.
But when I read the blogs, I learned that a few if these students have already faced tough ethical decisions, and that while difficult, making ethical decisions is not optional for these guys. Which makes me proud to be a part of their lives and growth and development. And which challenges me to grow and develop along with them.