Business Leaders Seminar provides networking opportunities

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Business Leaders Seminar provides networking opportunities for high school students

Published: November 2, 2012.

Robert Diedrich,President/Trust Division, First Midwest
Bancorp, Inc., addresses crowd while participating
in a panel with William Devoney Jr., CFO, University
of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago.

The Lewis University College of Business recently hosted its second Business Leaders Seminar, which provided high school students with information about the different areas of business: accounting, business administration, computer information systems, economics, finance, information security, international business and marketing.

“This seminar offered high school students a unique opportunity to engage with several successful business leaders to learn the key differences between each major,” said Dr. Rami Khasawneh, dean of the College of Business and Graduate School of Management.

The event was a collaborative effort with eight high schools from the surrounding area: Bolingbrook, Hinsdale South, Joliet Central, Lockport, Naperville North, Plainfield South, Reavis and Romeoville. The number of participants exceeded 175, which included high school students, high school faculty, business leaders and COB faculty and staff.

The event was initiated last year to help students better understand the different areas in business and the potential career paths one could take in a specific field. The college invited an exceptional group of panelists ranging from CEOs and owners of businesses to recent Lewis University alumni. Discussion panels were split in three concentrations: accounting/economics/finance, computer information systems/information security, and business administration/international business/marketing. Each panel member shared their opinions and experience in their particular field. They also shared each major’s defined scope. Each session was approximately 35 minutes followed by 10 minutes of questions & answers, which enabled students to get feedback on how to be better prepared for the business world.

Amanda Theel, graduate assistant for the College of Business and the event coordinator stated, “The main goal of the day was to have students understand that business is an umbrella word. Business in the education world has many branches that stem from it: accounting, information security, business administration, marketing, etc. We want students to have a passion for not just business as a whole but to find the concentration that suits them best.” Once the panel discussions were over, the students were taken on a tour of the Lewis University campus.

All that were invited were very pleased with the seminar. Deanna Benson from Bolingbrook High School stated, “You do a wonderful job of pulling all this together for us. All of my students had a great day and learned something about the college and business careers.”

One of the business leaders, Ken Lomasney, COO of UMarketing, stated, “I continue to be impressed with the quality of people involved in making Lewis the great institution it is. It appeared to me that the mission was accomplished.”

The College of Business has already begun planning its third Business Leaders Seminar and will be inviting more high schools to participate in next year’s seminar.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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