Bringing a business ‘conference’ to campus

Northeastern students enjoy presenters at business day.

PUBLISHED: November 24, 2014 at 9:12 p.m. | UPDATED: May 8, 2019 at 1:52 a.m.

October 25, 2021
Northeastern Junior College campus

Hosting the Northeastern Business Day is a major event for the Northeastern Junior College’s (NJC) Business Department each year. The annual event took place in mid-November on campus. The goal of the day is to offer NJC business students an on-campus business conference. This year’s theme was “Find Your Path.” The speakers selected offered their experience and insights on various careers in business. Others hosted workshops on such topics as leadership, identity theft, and creating a winning resume.

Brenda Rhodes, Department Chair of Business and Cosmetology, noted that providing this experience gives students new ideas about what is possible in their career path. “Instead of taking various field trips, we bring the field trips to our campus,” she points out.

Amanda Kerker, professor of business and Business Club Adviser, included business students in the overall organization and preparation for the event. Business Club students took an active role in planning, coordinating, promoting, and hosting the day. Students in attendance enjoyed the quality of the workshops, and found valuable tools to help build themselves personally and professionally.

Northeastern Business Professor Ronda Monheiser, reported that this year was particularly awesome with many of our workshop presenters being highly successful recent NJC graduates. Emily Boerner Andersen did a fabulous job of engaging students and sharing valuable insights on “Careers in Accounting” and “The Importance of Networking.” Matt Bjerke, financial analyst with Dish Network, was superb in involving students in realizing that they can be highly successful in obtaining their college degree even if they don’t take the direct path. He also led a session on “Careers in Finance.”

Nicki Swedlund and Kaylee Makowski from Maurice’s Stores gave beneficial insights to “Careers in Management.” The workshop, “Safeguarding Your Identity,” hosted by Bill Dolan, of the Sterling Police Department, truly brought to light how important it is for everyone to think about what kind of information they are sharing, especially online. Sara Thompsen, from Cabela’s Marketing Division, shared great information on careers in marketing, the depth of marketing, and how to find out about possible internship opportunities at Cabela’s. Even beyond the speakers listed above, the University of a Northern Colorado hosted sessions on resume writing skills and entrepreneurship.

Josh Davies topped off the day as the keynote speaker during a luncheon when he shared his “7 Secrets to Being the Leader You Never Thought You Could Be!” Students gave enthusiastic positive reviews on his energetic presentation.

“Effective leaders have an impact everywhere they go,” Davies told the crowd. “Great leaders don’t copy other people. They observe other people who do things well and then adapt their own styles.” He shared a variety of stories from corporate America, including how the J.W. Marriott Denver’s inside “Operation Foam Finger” program helped them become the hotel in this country receiving the Number One guest satisfaction award. “From the cooks to the engineers to the housekeepers, through some good leadership, every employee at that place took ownership and accountability for results, both good and bad, when it came to taking care of their customers,” he explained. “Every employee was given a large foam finger with the words ‘We’re Number One’ on it. When they had good scores from customer reviews, they came together and danced around with their fingers and celebrated. If they had bad scores, they didn’t point the finger at anyone, they just decided that together they would do whatever had to be done to fix and improve.”

Davies talked at length with the students about how you cannot be a good leader unless someone is following you. “If no one is following you, you’re just out for a walk,” he said, generating a laugh from his audience. Among his seven tips for great leadership was defining your personal brand and unique selling point, raising your expectations, focusing on collaboration, finding ways to fail and then learn from it, and to choose to mono-task. He noted that the brain doesn’t like multitasking and studies show that ongoing, extensive multitasking can lower your IQ by as much as 14 points so it is imperative that all of us find time to still focus on only one thing at a time occasionally. Last but not least, he encouraged students to trade screens for faces, reminding them that while technology is here to stay, the biggest and best connections in business and in life are still done face to face.

Professor of Accounting and Business, Deb Walker, said that her students commented on the great deal of valuable information they received, particularly, they stated, in all of the areas that they could pursue within business. The students enjoyed getting to ask the speakers questions about career choices and related educational paths.

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