Business Leadership Seminar helps students and graduates polish skills
More than two dozen students and graduates enjoyed a Business Leadership Seminar hosted recently by the Visalia campus. Business Administration program students from the Hanford and Delano campuses joined Visalia Business Administration students for a day of speaker presentations, breakout sessions and friendly competitions that polished their skills and increased their knowledge.
“We wanted to provide our students with a professional look at the real world of business, introduce them to networking and help prepare them for the workplace,” says Business Administration instructor Matthew Glasgow, who led the team that organized the seminar.
Several local business leaders were guest speakers who also lead breakout sessions that addressed such topics as Corporate Social Responsibility (Donn Ritter), Managing Stress in the Workplace (Seng Leang Tang-Hignojoz), and Entrepreneurship (Nicholas Gambini, who was the Keynote Speaker).
“Many of our students found value in listening to the experience of some of our speakers because they found similarities in their upbringing,” says Instructional Specialist Amanda Ogata, who helped plan the seminar.
The primary goal of the seminar was to expose Business Administration students to a simulated business environment removed from the classroom environment. Networking was a strong focus of the day, and local business leaders were happy to help set the stage for students to sharpen their skills.
“This exercise was equivalent to a corporation’s conference,” offers Glasgow. “They got to network with peers, entrepreneurs and business people in the community. They learned applicable topics for the business world that they can take to their future workplace.”
All Business Administration program attendees dressed for the part in appropriate business attire. “Students walking by were wondering if we were doing instructor training or if the students were new employees,” says Matthew. “They looked so professional.”
Students particularly enjoyed the spirited competition that showcased speech and marketing talents. A panel of judges that included some of their peers awarded points for knowledge, presentation, creativity and communication skills.
Seminar attendees enjoyed lunch and the opportunity to further practice their communication skills with others at their tables. “It was nice for students to be able to have an open dialogue with the community members that sat in on our lunch and who were willing to share their daily interactions with our students,” says Amanda.
“At the end of the day, students were exhausted but still energized,” says Matthew. “Every single one of them asked when we were going to do this again. They were also pretty excited to get laptop cases, briefcases and other swag applicable to business,” he laughs.
Another Business Leadership Seminar is already in the works. “Next time, we will invite other programs to participate,” says Matthew. “Business and communication skills permeate all careers.”
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