June 11, 2009

Business college to host high school students

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The sky is the limit. That’s the message for a group of minority high school students from across the country as they visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale this month.

The College of Business at SIUC will host about 20 students in a weeklong residency program June 13-20. The students will be juniors or seniors in high school this fall and the Exploring Careers in Business week gives them a chance to explore the myriad options the world of business has for them.

“The Exploring Careers in Business Week is not about counting heads, it’s about making heads count; preparing students for positions and opportunities that will jump-start their careers,” said Michael L. Haywood, director of minority affairs for the College of Business. “We want to introduce them to career track opportunities and demonstrate to them how a career is strategically planned and not just something that happens.”

During the seminar, students from as far away as California will participate in classes covering leadership skills, networking, goal setting, finance, marketing, business administration and accounting. They’ll also be preparing for ACT testing. They’ll discover the University’s business programs and will meet with SIUC administrators. Through guest speakers, they will enhance their knowledge of dining etiquette, appropriate professional behavior and preparing for interviews.

The seminar includes a trip to St. Louis. While there, the teens will visit business including The Boeing Co. and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. They will see what the corporate world is really like, meet business representatives and get a close-up look at how businesses function.

Participants will live in campus residence halls during the week. Essentially, “Exploring Careers in Business” is a peek at the future, at what University life followed by a successful career can be for the high school students.

The College of Business, The Reflective, Responsive University Initiative and Caterpillar provide program funding for “Exploring Careers in Business.” Linda McCabe Smith, interim associate chancellor for diversity, coordinates the SIUC Reflective, Responsive University Initiative.