Business Week puts networking first

A very exciting week for many students is Business Week at Loras. The sixth annual Loras College Business Week is an opportunity for business and non-business majors to get firsthand stories and advice from professionals across all business departments.

Not only is this a great way for students to get a look at what life after college might hold it provides students with an opportunity to network.

Putting together Business Week is no small feat for the Business Department. It takes quite a bit of strategic planning on behalf of the professors. But in the end, it provides students with a lot of helpful knowledge.

“Business Week benefits Loras students by providing them with an opportunity to have a conversation with recent alumni who just a few short years ago were anticipating the start of their own careers,” said Douglas Gambrall, professor of business and division head. “The insights garnered from these conversations, via the alumni panels, can aid students, regardless of major, as they prepare to enter a profession.”

Recently, a book has been added to the collection for all of the business majors going through capstone: “A Catechism for Business.” This book enables students to see how Catholic Social Teaching and church documents can be utilized when making decisions in business. It was this book that Gambrall utilized as the perfect introduction to the first speaker of the week on Sunday night.

“Since Dr. Murphy specializes in marketing and ethical issues in business, and in light of our focus on business practices through the lens of Catholic Social Doctrine, his presentation this evening was an appropriate way to kick off Business Week 2015,” Gambrall said.

The finance panel consisted of Loras alum Erin McGovern from Heartland and Jamie O’Donnell from Heacock & Jones. These two alumni offered a few overarching themes by relating their various experiences with job changes, ethics in business, and ever-changing technology.

Another important theme coming out of this panel was the importance of using Loras’ alumni network throughout the country. McGovern said he has never obtained a job that did not involve Loras connections. In regards to finding a passion in life, the panelists agreed that students should strive to be passionate about things they also are skilled in, and just because a student is good at something does not mean they are passionate about it.

The quarter of the Ballroom that held the marketing panel was filled with marketing majors and professors. This group had plenty of questions for the panelists.

Sarah Link (’14), a member of the panel, said coming back so soon after graduating is odd because it wasn’t long ago when she was just in the same position that seniors are in now. Link also commented on never knowing for sure which connections you’ll need in the future or which will come to you, so students should take advantage of panels like this to learn from and engage with alums who are particularly eager to help.

The rest of the week included many more informative panels. On Tuesday,  Christine (Steffen ’76) Korte, a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. presented on “Why a Liberal Arts Education is Vital in Today’s Workplace.”

Afterward, the accounting panel had the floor in Ballroom A, while the economics panel was formed down the hall. There also was a sports-management presentation in the adjacent ballroom featuring Matthew Garrett, professor of sport management, presenting on “Young Sport Management Graduates and their Career Trajectories.”

Wednesday was a little less segmented than Tuesday with David Kordell (’91), president of River Valley Capital Group, presenting on “Drive and Ambition: Entrepreneurship as the Road to Success,” followed by panels for MIS and management. Business Week wrapped up on Thursday with Anthony Reardon (’72), chairman and CEO of Ducommun Incorporated, whose presentation was entitled “Leadership Development.”

“The business faculty are very appreciative of Loras alumni giving of their time to participate in Business Week and thankful for the support of our sponsors, Dennis and Mona Houlihan,” said Gambrall.

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