“Hey, Urban. URBIE! If you will! Ha, right COACH? Good ol’ sport? Ahem, anyways I was wondering if you could write a letter of recommendation for me…”
Last spring semester, 198 students at Ohio State had the opportunity to finagle their way through conversations like that because they were officially one of Urban Meyer’s students. Our former Ohio State football overlord finally retires, and he spends that time back on campus but in a new way. We reached out to Caroline Elsass-Smith, Abbie Rentsch, and Jacquelyn O’Brien, three students who took Character and Leadership (BUSMHR 3211), to get the real review, the public SEI’s, if you will, of a class taught by the head coach.
WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT URBAN MEYER IN A CLASSROOM SETTING THAT YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?
“Urban doesn’t allow anyone to wear any kind of hat while he is lecturing. He would ask you to remove it before he began.” – Caroline
“I was definitely surprised by how personable and approachable he was. He came up to me on the first day of class and asked me my name and where I was from and he was chatting with a bunch of different students before class even started.” – Jacquelyn
DESCRIBE MEYER’S TEACHING STYLE AS A LECTURER.
“He’s a very direct and enthusiastic lecturer. He is the type to call on you when you don’t even raise your hand.” – Abbie
“That is something that set this class apart. I was always on my toes because if you don’t know the answer, you feel like you just let Urban Meyer down.” – Caroline
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS YOU LEARNED FROM HIS CLASS?
“Striving for ‘above the line’ behavior where you are purposeful, intentional, and skillful when making decisions as a leader.” – Caroline
“It taught me a lot not only about leadership, but also about myself. I learned a lot about how my personality plays into my leadership skills.” – Abbie
HOW DOES THIS CLASS STAND OUT DIFFERENTLY FROM OTHERS IN THE BUSINESS MAJOR?
“It was very much discussion-based rather than lecture-based. It was a good chance to hear and learn from other people’s opinions.” – Abbie
WHAT WERE THE CLASS’S BIGGEST PROJECTS?
“There was only one class project; it was a group project where you were assigned your group and given a character trait. We then had to present
a 30-minute presentation to our recitations comparing and contrasting two known leaders (a good and a bad) with that trait.” – Abbie
HOW FREQUENTLY DID MEYER TELL FOOTBALL STORIES IN CLASS?
“Every class! I loved it. He would show videos and we were required to clap after. He let us all try on his Rose Bowl/Big Ten Championship ring and I felt so special.” – Caroline
“He had us watch those for two reasons: one, ‘Don’t be afraid to be great,’ and two, he loves watching them.” – Abbie
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE HE GAVE DURING CLASS?
“I would say to always think with clarity. He always mentioned we live in such a chaotic world and we have to stick to our personal values when it comes to making decisions in our lives. We have to make sure media and society are not making decisions for us.” – Caroline
WHAT KIND OF STUDENT SHOULD TAKE THIS CLASS?
“If you are a student that is looking to be a leader someday, not even just in the workforce, but just in general, take this class.” – Abbie
“Both Professor Buchanan and Professor Meyer emphasized the point that leadership is a learned skill and that anyone can be a leader if you work to enhance those skills.” – Jacquelyn
OVERALL, WAS THE CLASS WORTH IT?
“100%. I was considering dropping it due to taking 17 credits as a graduating senior. I am so happy I stuck with it because it was one of the most beneficial classes I took in college.” – Caroline
If you’re interested in taking Urban Meyer’s class, look for Character and Leadership (BUSMHR3211) when register- ing for classes this year.