UH Bauer Gives Houston HSers Peek Into Business World

Published on September 15, 2011

Second Annual Bauer Summer Business Institute
Brings 25 Area High School Students to Campus

Bauer Summer Business Institute participants got a first-hand look at the inner workings of some of Houston’s businesses and the value of a business degree.

A select group of 25 high school students from all over Houston was recently given the opportunity to experience the Houston business community through the Bauer Summer Business Institute (BSBI) in August held by the Office of Undergraduate Business Programs at the C. T. Bauer College of Business.

“The main focuses of the BSBI are business education and community outreach,” Assistant Director for Outreach Leslie Killian said. “Bauer College puts a high priority on giving students, both prospective and current, many opportunities for hands-on learning, and our outreach programs are no exception.”

Launched in 2010, BSBI is a three-day event designed for high school juniors and seniors to develop leadership skills, set goals for their future (both personal  and professional ), and discover their future career through classroom instruction, real-world training,  site visits and networking.

“We give the students a chance to see our campus and all that we have to offer them as visitors and possibly as future students — a world-class business education in a world-class city,” Killian said.  “It’s a win-win for the university, the college, the students and their parents.  We’re very excited about the city-wide interest in what we’re doing and the direction the camp is going.”

In addition, this summer’s students were able to experience local businesses and industries through experiential learning and site tours to various locations around the city, including the Toyota Center and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Killian said her goal for BSBI is to gather a group of promising young students who exhibit a passion for business, leadership potential, and most importantly, a desire to make some kind of difference or impact.

“Our main focus is business education, so first and foremost we look for students that have a passion for business in terms of a college major,” Killian said. “From there, we seek out those who can show us with their school performance, achievements and activities that they are up to the challenge of truly learning the real world of business here at camp.  It’s a competitive process, and an invitation to the camp is well-deserved.  Our committee is very selective.”

Bauer Students Get Involved

Killian enlisted the assistance of a team of Bauer student and alumni volunteers to form the BSBI Camp Counselors and help guide the campers through the process.

“I volunteered for the BSBI because I wanted to be there to guide  all these younger students thinking about going to business school and share with them my experiences and what I’ve learned so that they will have a better idea of what’s in store for them if they do decide to come to Bauer,” finance major Tony Nguyen said.

Real-World Learning

During site visits, the students were given the opportunity to pick the brains of real world professionals and local entrepreneurs, including Star Furniture chairman Melvyn Wolff (BBA ’53).

The BSBI featured three workshops led by Bauer faculty. The first, a goal setting, planning, and motivation workshop lead by insurance and risk management professor Mack Rogers, got the young students to start thinking about their future and what they hoped to achieve.

“I believe there are two things that prevent people from achieving their goals,” Rogers said. “The first is a lack of belief in themselves, and the second, a lack of a good planning system.”

The students also attended workshops on leadership development and another on career planning, led by the college’s Director of Leadership Initiatives Tommy Doss and Assistant Dean for Career Services Jamie Belinne.

“The energy and enthusiasm of the high school students as well as the current Bauer students was so exciting to be around,” Belinne said. “They reminded me of the many reasons why I love teaching and why I love Bauer.  I hope my son will be able to participate in the Bauer Summer Business Institute once he gets closer to graduation!”

Along with the workshops, the students were taken on visits to various businesses around Houston. They were given a behind-the-scenes look at the Houston Rockets and attended a panel featuring various Rockets business and marketing personnel. The group also toured the BP P trading floor and the Federal Reserve Bank, as well as retail businesses Lexis Florist and Kuhl-Linscomb.

Campers Speak Out

“The camp was a great experience,” Strait Jesuit High School senior Justin Wilson said. “I learned how businesses run, how to work in business and the skills it takes to run a business. The camp has persuaded me to go to business school.”

One of the most talked about and inspiring portions of the camp was when students had a chance to meet successful entrepreneurs — people who, not unlike them, started off with few good ideas.

“It was really inspiring to learn about how they started with nothing to eventually building wonderful companies,” Bellaire High School senior Amy Jiang said.

“I learned a lot about business at the camp. Before I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in business and go to business school, but now I know it’s exactly what I want to do,” she added.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Episcopal High School senior Olivia Tezel said. “I’ve benefited so much from meeting people in the business world and seeing how diverse studying business is and all the ventures I could go into. It’s definitely affirmed my belief that I should go to business school. I’m really excited and I had such a great time.”

By Ryan Tang

Posted Under: Bauer Gives Back

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