Programs designed to reach out to and nurture the next generation of business leaders are flourishing this summer through various programs of the C.T. Bauer College of Business.
Danny Klam, a junior management student, is spending part of his summer as a mentor and volunteer with students ages 8 through 11 this summer at a Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, Inc. event known as Exchange City. Accounting Professor Michael Newman encourages accounting students to take part in activities such as Junior Achievement as a way to hone presentation skills while giving back to the community. The college students’ presence also helps boost University of Houston and Bauer College of Business visibility and may hopefully plant a seed in a young person who’ll then consider the school as a possibility when he or she graduates.
Before arriving, the younger kids spent four weeks at their home schools preparing for the day they came to participate in a mini city. Armed with resumes and taking on roles such as judges, business owners, chefs, teachers and the other kinds of professions that make up any municipality, their immediate goal is to be the first to repay a loan they’re given at the beginning of the day. Meanwhile, they were learning what it takes to work and do business with others, and other invaluable lessons in the day-to-day operation of a small city.
Klam, who came to UH with experience working as a sales manager for Houston-area Toyota dealerships, says he got a charge out of seeing the unbridled enthusiasm the children had for their entrepreneurial roles.
“It’s almost like the kids are running their businesses more efficiently than actual CEOs,” Klam says, noting that the kids didn’t let personalities or other stumbling blocks cloud their pursuit of business and career goals.
Another upcoming event designed to let students experience life in a virtual city will partner Bauer academic advisors with students from the YES Academy, the only Houston prep school to make Newsweek magazine’s 100 best schools list this year. YES is dedicated to assisting low-income students achieve their dream of going to college.
Frank Kelley, assistant dean of Undergraduate Business College programs at Bauer, will go to the Academy to train students who will then work at the virtual University of Houston on the day of the event. Several academic advisors will team up with students as they experience a condensed lifespan (ages 19 to 26) in a single eight-hour day.
The advisors’ involvement with these students goes well beyond “just advising them on how to fill out a form or pick out a college,” Kelley says. The goal, instead, is: “How do we help students figure out their long range goals and develop a plan that will get them to that goal?”
While it’s difficult to quantify the impact of working with potential UH students at these events and others, Kelley believes the end result can be seen in rising numbers of students who graduate from Bauer. While the U.S. college graduation rate hovers around 50 percent, Kelley says, Bauer’s rate in 2000 was 63 percent, an increase from 56.7 percent the previous year.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Bauer College of Business
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.