Business month wrap up

As November begins, this marks the end of Pierce Business Month.

October consisted of five different workshops to help students understand opportunities offered within the major. Because last year’s Business Week was successful, staff members agreed that dedicating a whole month to business would be more beneficial to students.

The first workshop, led by business department chair Martin Karamian, “I’m Taking Business Classes… Now What?” was focused on helping students discover pathways that may interest them.

“Money Making Careers in Economics” was led by Kaycea Campbell, an associate professor of economicsm and the department chair of Poli Sci/Econ/AJ and Chicano Studies (PEACh).

Campbell helped with general planning and coordinated, chaired and developed this workshop. Professionals, past students and industry experts, explained how an economics major can be used to secure a money-making career.

“Wisdom From Business Gurus” allowed students to hear from business professionals and how they got to where they are.

“Navigating Business Colleges” was similar to a college fair. Representatives from the business departments of different universities answered students’ questions and helped them explore their options.

“Mingle With the Pros” was all about networking and its importance. A speaker from LinkedIn spoke about the significance of social networking. Students were also given the opportunity to talk to the professionals and put their networking skills into practice.

Campbell said she was glad to be involved with this event, and she was glad she could share her knowledge and show how useful economics can be.   

“So many of our students want to do ‘business’. However, this is broad and big. They need a roadmap,” Campbell said. “They need to talk to people who have done it, those who are doing it, and experts letting them know what to focus on and what is important. This event did that.”

Counselor Norine Fine said that business is a major that interests many students.

According to Fine, approximately 5,000 students have indicated that they are either  interested in a business or related major.

If a student was not able to attend any of the workshops, Fine advises them to make an appointment with an academic counselor to find out about academic planning, or meet with a career counselor to see if business is a good fit for them.

“A lot of the stuff in workshops is very informational in nature, and the goal of it is to expand students’ understanding of what the business major is all about, how to utilize that in their workplace, and how to translate that into a career,” Fine said. “Once they have that more globalized idea, then it’s really a matter of sitting down with a counselor and talking about the particular major they are looking at, the emphasis, and the schools they are targeting.”

Though Fine was happy with the outcome this month, she noticed that one of the challenges the coordinating team faced was knowing how to make the event relevant for students, and how to make it an event that students would want to attend.

Fine said that the informal feedback they received from students as they were leaving the event was helpful. She was pleased to hear students express that they had relatively low expectations for the event, and the event exceeded their expectations.

Wendi Meckler, the Transfer Center director, said she was happy with the turnout of the events.

“Each event met its goal of informing students of additional information about the business major and what careers that can lead to,” Meckler said. “I’m hoping the students agree with that.”

According to Meckler, business is one of the most popular majors and a broad field to get into so it is important to send a whole month on it because it is good for students to know what options they have in business.

Meckler said that events like this take a lot of time and willing participation from staff and students. She explained that the committee has their full time jobs and putting together an event like this is almost volunteering their time to do extra planning.

“We are happy to do it because it is benefiting the students,” Meckler said. “It’s fun and we like doing it, it just takes time.”

Meckler said it would be beneficial to get more feedback from students that attended the event to help the committee plan for next time.

She said that there were also a few students on the planning committee and she would like to be able to include more students in the planning process to help them decide what information will be relevant to students.

“We will keep doing it as long as students keep attending,” Meckler said. “We did see a huge difference in turnout from last year to this year and we hope that it keeps growing.”