Jun
12

FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE BOARDROOM AND BACK

By

Dean DeBiase co-created, produced and taught an experiential-leaning course at NIU based on NBC's The Apprentice TV show, where he played Trump. This college credit class, which captured the elements of the hit TV show (including firing students in the boardroom), quickly developed a following, intrigue and positive PR buzz for the university through the local and national media that followed it. However, when the real Donald Trump found out about it, his team called NIU to discuss a cease and desist for copying his show without permission.
 
After the dust had settled, Dean was quoted as saying, “…once calmed down, I think Donald found our entrepreneurial spirit and raw creativity compelling. He not only allowed the class/show to continue, he also agreed to call into our boardroom and talk with the students…who had not been fired yet.  Donald provided some lifelong business lessons that our students will never forget.” After giving the students some blunt advice he endorsed the innovative platform, taking to the airwaves and announcing on his radio show, "I want to hand it to Northern Illinois University's College of Business, they are just a little bit ahead of the pack. If I were 20 years old again, I'd be in that class." The final class was aired on local radio, NBC News and made the front page of the Chicago Tribune. 

Years later, Donald invited Dean to join him as an episode guest host on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice. This time Donald wasn't on a conference call with Dean's students, he was face to face on TV and the pressure was on!  As Donald wrapped up the episode in the boardroom, getting ready to fire someone from the team which Dean selected to loose, Donald went on to say, "Dean…there is nobody like him…to take your company to the next level".  

As a Senior KIN Fellow and Lecturer of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Kellogg School of Management, Dean continues to design, curate and deliver experiential-learning into the curriculum, including a class he co-teaches inside the boardrooms of multi-national corporations–like McDonald's, Leo Burnett, Accenture, United Airlines, Pepsi, Whirlpool, P&G and United Healthcare–where students go toe-to-toe with the worlds top business leaders.  Look for his Kellogg video soon!

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