Black Student Union throws a business week

Events aimed at teaching students how to be successful after college

by Tara Bannow

When Gerald Edwards was 13 years old, he wasnâÄôt satisfied doing the things other middle school students did. So, he decided to start his own company. He sketched designs, put them on t-shirts and has been selling them ever since. His clothing company, Never Stop On Dreams, has made Edwards, now a 16-year-old Champlin Park High School student, the talk of the town âÄî and a whole lot of extra cash. Edwards will be one of several presenters at the Black Student Union âÄôs third annual Business Academia, a week of events beginning Monday dedicated to preparing students for futures in the business world. Cortez Riley, president of Black Student Union, said all are welcome at the events, designed to provide attendees direct contact with the corporate world. MondayâÄôs event will be a resume workshop in Coffman Memorial Union, where members of the Business Association of Multicultural Students will team up with the College of Liberal ArtsâÄô Career and Community Learning Center to provide tips on putting together resumes and writing cover letters. Having worked for the CCLC for three years, Jasmine Omorogbe, a communications studies senior, has seen hundreds of resumes. âÄúIâÄôve definitely learned what to look for,âÄù she said. Often working directly with employers at the CCLC, Omorogbe, who will lead MondayâÄôs workshop, said her advice comes straight from the mouths of experts. âÄúSo the stuff that we tell students is not just because we make it up,âÄù she said. âÄúItâÄôs because the recruiters tell us âÄòwe like to see thisâÄô or âÄòwe hate thatâÄô or âÄòthese are the mistakes students often make.âÄôâÄù TuesdayâÄôs event, âÄúThe Art of HustlingâÄù will be a panel discussion featuring business professionals who will share their success stories and provide advice to help students succeed in their own endeavors. âÄúWeâÄôre just going to be trying to get to know how their businesses started, the challenges they faced and how itâÄôs going right now,âÄù Riley said, adding the idea behind the event is to provide students a realistic view of the industry. Some of the speakers are yet to be determined, but will include Edwards of NSOD and Tola Oyewole, senior community relations specialist for Best Buy. Dinner will also be served. On Wednesday, Kappa Alpha Phi will present a workshop of tips on dressing professionally and financial literacy, Riley said. Thursday eveningâÄôs event, sponsored by Kaplan, will be a “Post-Undergraduate Extravaganza” in Coffman Union with snacks provided. Many students have had to drop out of school as a result of irresponsible spending from their student accounts, Riley said. FridayâÄôs event, âÄúU of M, TC: Access Denied!âÄù will feature a representative from One Stop Student Services who will discuss the ramifications of poor money management, including being denied access to the University. For the finale, BAM is sponsoring a career and academic fair in Coffman on Friday night, which will feature at least 12 employers and academic resources for volunteering, such as Project Legos and Hospitality House. Miles Swammi, BAM secretary, said the career fair will be more personal than other career fairs. âÄúYouâÄôll have that opportunity to make those connections,âÄù he said, âÄúWhereas at a bigger career fair, you might be kind of lost in the crowd.âÄù Events like Business Academia are essential for students, because they wonâÄôt be in college forever, and they need to know what to do once they leave, Omorogbe said. âÄúOne main aspect of going to college is so that you can get a better job,âÄù she said, âÄúbut if you have no skills and you have no way to represent the things youâÄôve done with your experience, then you may not have the same chance as another person who has that experience.âÄù