Seeking to provide students opportunities to interact with real business professionals, the Luter School of Business is hosting a conference on Feb. 22 and 23. Entitled the Business Exchange, the two-day event will feature dozens of different workshops and panels.
“It’s an opportunity we’re bringing to students to be able to access business leaders and alumni professionals and learn the social and professional skills you don’t learn in the classroom as much. The topics are really designed to be informative but fun,” said Linda McKee, the director of programs and outreach for the Luter School of Business.
The planning for this conference has been in the works for a while as the initial planning stages began last fall.
McKee, along with several students, went around to classes to solicit questions and possible topics of interest from CNU’s business majors—ranging from whether accounting majors should choose to work for a big four firm or how to conduct yourself at a cocktail party with the CEO.
“So many students finish school and they get out there, and they’ve never heard a lot of these things, said McKee. “In the business world, people aren’t going to come up and tell you you did that wrong.”
She also believes that by choosing the issues that students find to be important to them personally, interest in the event has been heightened even further.
“We wanted it to be something the students would want to go hear about.”
For Marshall Segars, one of many students involved with the planning, said in an interview on the Luter School of Business Facebook page that he’s highly anticipating the wide variety of topics.
“I’m excited to meet all the speakers and just to learn about all the different things in the workforce and how to succeed in my life moving forward.”
The idea of the Business Exchange came from Dr. George Ebbs, the dean of the Luter School of Business. When he used to work at Bloomsberg University, Ebbs was a part of a similar program there and wanted to bring it to CNU.
McKee cited the immense aid it can provide to students and hopes that similar programs will become more common in the future.
“I can tell you when I was in school, we never offered anything like this. But I think we’ve learned it’s a huge value to students.”
As the Exchange is taking place over the course of the day on Thursday, students in attendance would most likely have to miss class to attend certain sessions.
McKee said that most of the business professors are amenable to this fact because of the prolonged planning period. As the organizers talked to the professors as early as last semester, they had time to consolidate and budget out time in their respective syllabi.
Just because the event is hosted by the Business School doesn’t mean that non-business majors are excluded entirely. McKee believes that some of the lessons being taught could carry over to other majors.
“At the end of the day, everyone is going to have to get out there and make money. One of our courses is how to maintain a budget and invest for your future. Anybody in any course could benefit from that.”
In the end, the business school is just hoping for students to receive the information they will need to succeed in the future.
“If you’re looking for a place to really learn what it’s like to work in a particular field, hobbling to get through the interview or what to do to make the most of your career plans, this is the place to be,” said Ebbs.