Even just two hours can change the trajectory of a career.
That was the premise behind a special Saturday session, “Boys & Girls Club Business and Entrepreneurship Lunch & Learn,” held at the Wisconsin School of Business for local high school students interested in business and entrepreneurial fields who are starting to make decisions on college and career. The event was sponsored by WSB and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and featured students from the Wisconsin Evening MBA Program as panelists and small group leaders.
Leslie Petty, assistant dean of the Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA programs, said the School was excited to partner with the high school students at a pivotal juncture in their careers, knowing how influential the advice and experience of working professionals can be.
“We are proud of our MBA students who inspire and encourage young aspiring business leaders in the community,” Petty says.
The program included a panel discussion with Wisconsin Evening MBA students as speakers and Taylor Jackson of the Boys & Girls Club as facilitator. The high school students then broke into smaller groups based on business interest, talking in a more intimate setting with a WSB student who works in that field. The business areas included entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, marketing, and human resources.
The MBA students shared both the pros and cons of their respective fields, and encouraged questions on everything from what they wished they had known in high school about their careers to the favorite aspect of their jobs.
An Nguyen (MBA ’19), a senior loan officer with Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, says the event was an enriching experience for all involved. “The students had wonderful opportunities to discuss their challenges and options around making college and career decisions,” says Nguyen, who helped with the finance career panel. “I love this event, and I hope the panel’s insights will serve the students well as they move forward.”
Students used career exploration worksheets throughout the session as they interacted with the WSB students, exploring and analyzing what type of workplace they might enjoy, average starting salaries, and questions they still had about their particular business field.
Donovan Malloy (MBA ’19), a director of compensation with Nielsen, said he was impressed with the students’ questions and their desire for knowledge.
“The opportunity to speak with students from the Boys & Girls Club was a fantastic way to learn about the ambitions of this talented group. I am excited to see them realize their goals and hope the information provided at the panel provides inspiration for their future.”