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On the evening of April 19, the atmosphere upstairs at Springfield Brewing Company was electric as students, dressed in their finest business wear, mingled with community members, Breech School of Business alumni and faculty. Refreshments flowed; hor’s devours consumed, business cards exchanged and advice shared. Overall, the event was deemed a success.
“College students are the professionals of tomorrow and by investing time and energy into meeting with the students, professionals may be able to pass along a piece of insight or advice that will impact the students and their professional career, said Nate Reed, a Drury alum who graduated in 2009 with a degree in criminology and marketing and is now the special events coordinator at The Arc of the Ozarks.
The event began as a class assignment in Dr. Robin Sronce’s project management class, where students split up into committees, delegating the responsibilities of planning the event. As the semester progressed, the project gained momentum, attracting the support of local businesses, Breech alumni and faculty.
On the night of the event, reality suppressed all expectations with over 120 people in attendance. The highlight of the evening was a speech by Dr. William Rohlf, professor of economics, who reflected on the changes he’s observed around campus in his 40 years of teaching at Breech.
“Forty years ago, chalkboard was the medium we used to express our wisdom. Forty years ago, the word friend wasn’t a verb, it was a noun and you didn’t friend people, you had friends, but not 300 of them! But I would say students aren’t different today, although there are a lot more opportunities available today,” said Dr. Rohlf.
Danielle Newcomb, junior finance major, says she attended the event for the networking, “Having the chance to meet with alums and professionals in a more relaxed setting, as opposed to an interview, was exciting and made it feel a bit less scary. As we prepare to enter the workplace soon we, as students, need to feel comfortable around professionals and events like that give us that chance.”
Dr. Michael Shirley, professor and director of Breech School of Business, rounded up the event by thanking Dr. Sronce’s class for planning the event and the students and the alumni and faculty for attending.
“The opportunity for our current students to meet and interact with alumni and business leaders was invaluable. The introductions and experiences shared at the event ensured the building of successful connections, for students and alums alike,” said Dr. Shirley.
At the end of the evening, students walked away with business cards and networking skills while alumni and faculty made a few more memories by which to remember their time in the Breech School of Business.
“It was a most successful event with great attendance and the right people attending. The students did a tremendous job in planning a quality event. In fact, it was so successful that it will become an annual event,” said Jim Anderson, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Breech Advisory Board.
Written by Yelena Bosovik, a junior finance and economics major.