Carlson School hosts top-tier business schools

The Carlson School's Honors Board organized the Honors Conference.

Eddie Glenn

Students from top business schools across the nation attended the Carlson School of Management’s Honors Conference this weekend.

The conference was designed for honors students and faculty members from top-tier business schools to come together and exchange ideas. Approximately 90 people attended the event.

The conference was the first of what some hope will become an annual event, said Shannon Peloquin, a marketing and nonprofit management junior and vice president of the Honors Board planning committee.

Peloquin said that the 15-member committee has been organizing the conference for approximately a year.

There was some staff assistance along the way, but students took most of the initiative, Peloquin said.

The Honors Board invited students from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, among others.

The conference also included keynote speakers, breakout sessions and presentations by attending schools. The speakers addressed entrepreneurship, leading through change, philanthropy and other leadership principles.

Reatha Clark King, General Mills Foundation former president, spoke about diversity and being an agent for change.

“I always save time to reach out to young professionals,” she said.

The presentations allowed students to share how their schools function.

The Carlson School’s presenters were sophomore Anne Davis and juniors Mark Nelson and Kelly Leslie. They presented on how the Emerging Leadership Program operates within the Carlson School.

The program is designed to challenge students academically and help them become well-rounded by fulfilling participation requirements in leadership, community service, diversity and career development.

Peloquin and Leslie said that the program might become a requirement for the Carlson School’s honors students in the future.

Christina Bawek, an accounting and finance senior and Honors Board president, said that eight students graduated with honors last year from the Carlson School. This year, approximately 50 will graduate with honors, she said.

There was even an impromptu piano serenade by first-year finance student Ben Ilhardt, who is also an Honors Board member. He played improvisational jazz and grabbed the crowd’s attention with the Charlie Brown song “Linus and Lucy.”

Parker Schultz, a management and information systems student, was another first-year member of the Honors Board. He said he never realized how much work it would be to do something like the Honors Conference.

He also said he likes the passion of visiting students traveling long distances to improve their schools.

Bawek said that passion keeps the Carlson School on top of the competition.

Jennifer Saphir, a marketing sophomore from Arizona State University, said she liked meeting honors students from different schools.

“Everybody seemed really welcoming,” she said.