Oklahoma State University’s new Business Building has endless noteworthy attributes, but the one that really sticks out to MBA students is room 247 ‒ the Graduate Student Lounge.
This lounge, exclusively available to Watson Graduate School of Management students, provides a unique space to graduate students that wasn’t available until the completion of the new Business Building in the spring semester of 2018.
“We had absolutely no space in Gundersen where the Watson Graduate School was previously located,” WGSM assistant director Kenneth Kern said. “The Business Building in and of itself didn’t really have anything more than a couple conference rooms that were being utilized by faculty and staff, so students usually looked outside of the Spears School of Business to find study space.”
While there are dozens of other meeting rooms in the new Business Building, the need to provide graduate students with their own flexible space was apparent.
“I think Vice Dean Dr. (Ramesh) Sharda and Dean (Ken) Eastman both had a keen interest in situating a place in the new Business Building for graduate students because of the meaningful nature of letting students know that we value you, we support your duration of study while you’re here and we value grad programs in general,” Kern said.
Since the lounge has become available, students have been fully reaping its benefits as the room is rarely vacant. Students use the room for everything from study sessions to group meetings to a place to take a quick nap between classes. Many students use the graduate student lounge every day.
“I use the grad lounge to study almost on a daily basis,” said first-year MBA student Austin Parsonage. “It has nice TV in there, so we can watch football when we need a break.”
The Graduate Student Lounge has proven to be a beneficial tool available to students in the graduate programs. One student said his productivity levels have improved since spending time studying in the lounge.
“If we didn’t have this space, I would go home and be way less productive,” Bill Pickering, a first-year MBA student said. “I’ll go home sometimes after class, and then come back to campus later just to study in here as opposed to studying at home just to ensure more productivity.”
The benefits of this space don’t stop there. The concept of an exclusive graduate student lounge adds to the element of community surrounding the MBA program as students can almost always find one of their peers in the lounge at all times.
“I like that before exams I can go to the grad lounge, and there’s a good chance somebody in my class is there, and we can bounce a few problems off each other,” Pickering said.
Students like the idea of having their own space where they can be productive but also catch up with classmates, a place where they can watch the Dallas Cowboy football game but also study for the accounting quiz.
With finals on the horizon, students have been filtering in and out of the graduate student lounge more than ever, and it’s clear that this space will provide a huge return on investment in WGSM students’ educations and futures.
By Kinsey Clemmer