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High school students to explore business careers

June 22, 2011, Christi Mathis, University Communications

${image-alt} SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng speaks to the ECB Class of 2010

Minority students will travel from all over the country to Southern Illinois University Carbondale this month to explore opportunities in the world of business.

About 30 high school juniors and seniors from as far away as California will be on campus June 18-25 for the "Exploring Careers in Business" summer residency program. The focus of the seminar is on finance, marketing, business economics, accounting, management, leadership skills and networking. In addition, the program includes intensive preparation work for the ACT test.

Participants will meet with SIU administrators, faculty and staff and explore the University’s business programs. Through guest speakers and special presentations, the high school students will learn about academic survival skills, interview preparation, time management, dining etiquette and appropriate professional behavior. The teens will also experience real world business life with visits to a variety of corporations in St. Louis, including The Boeing Co. and New York Life. While there, they’ll meet business executives.

Exploring Careers in Business also enables participants to enjoy a week of college life as they live in campus residence halls.

“The College of Business Office of Minority Affairs has had tremendous success in attracting, recruiting and enrolling Exploring Careers in Business participants. Six of the seven seniors who participated in the 2009 week enrolled at SIUC for fall 2010. Moreover, five of the six students had a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 their freshman year. But, it is not all about counting numbers, it is about making numbers count,” said Michael L. Haywood, the college’s director of minority affairs.

Haywood said the weeklong experience, filled with workshops, practical study, campus living and interaction with business, corporate and University officials, will give the students a chance to see what their future could hold.

The College of Business, with assistance from the Reflective, Responsive University Initiative and Caterpillar, is funding the 2011 Exploring Careers in Business program.