On Monday, the last day of classes at the College of Charleston, a random sampling of students graduating from the School of Business were asked a simple question: What, if anything, were you taught about business ethics?
Ben Silverstein, Rochester, N.Y.: "The biggest thing I've learned is that you'll be put in situations where your job may be put on the line. It's hard to define ethics because you may have ideals and morals right now, but when you have a mortgage and car payments and your job is on the line, it's going to be a much different situation. So when I'm put in that situation at work, I will consult friends and family before I make a decision."
Christina Palmer, Bishopville: "We definitely learned the importance of business ethics. It's been reiterated time and time again in our courses from business law to business policy. We do case studies where we have to make ethical decisions. I think it's hard, especially in this day and age."
Catharine Strickler, Louisville, Ky.: "I've learned it's better to be ethical than non-ethical. That you're going to get further and make long-term relationships when you use ethical practices."
Sallie Truluck, Greenville: "I actually took it as a class. We would study cases about companies that had done unethical things. We'd go through and start from the beginning and study where it started going wrong. It usually starts very small and ends up very big."
Megan Thomas, Myrtle Beach: "It's important to know how you feel about a situation before you go into it. So you know when you're faced with something if you can continue working there or whether you should bring up the issue."
Connor Lyons, Charlotte: "We talked about business ethics and how it's a part of business and how it's required for business to work properly, but it's really all about your personal ethics."
Shannon Heausler, Tampa, Fla.: "I think it's incorporated into all our classes because it's something we'll be faced with when we get out."
Ezra Zankel, New Jersey: "I personally feel business ethics is important, but it can be pretty brutal out there and you really have to watch out for yourself. I know there's a class on it, but I haven't taken it."
Ali Greenberg, Pawleys Island: "To me it means to have consideration of others when you complete an action in business, but that's not always the case. It's all about your social upbringing and your religious views."
All of these students will graduate May 8. None has a job yet.