For freshmen and sophomores, the prospect of life after college can be daunting; the search for mentors or organizations that contribute to professional career development and growth can be intimidating. The Multicultural Business Students organization actively works to make that transition a bit smoother.
MBS is an organization of undergrads who represent the diversity of students in the Broad College. For the past 21 years, MBS has hosted an annual leadership retreat for its members with the intention of developing leadership qualities and offering potential networking with prospective employers.
“The goal is to build future leaders who can use the skills learned to enhance their professional development,” Darrell King, associate director for Multicultural Business Programs and an advisor to MBS, said.
On Nov. 1–2, MBS took a group of more than 50 students, mostly freshmen and sophomores, to a retreat at the Kellogg Biological Station in Battle Creek. Over the course of the retreat, students participated in several interactive workshops, including a mini case competition that involved building their own company. The retreat also gave students an opportunity to connect with representatives from major companies at informal occasions like a bonfire.
“My favorite part of this event is getting to know more about our members,” Amyl Patterson, a junior in marketing and publicity chair for MBS, said. “Students get to know each other outside of the classroom, and this often leads to the formation of lifelong friendships and memories.”
Patterson also explained how the retreat affects students’ career development: “Many of the students are able to build relationships with recruiters during their freshman year, and they maintain these relationships over time, leading to summer internships, access to leadership events and even full-time offers down the road.”
The Broad College alumni network is known for its size and its readiness to give back to both the school and current students. King explained the value of events like this to connect students with established alumni.
“Many of our corporate speakers sat in the students’ same seats three to 10 years ago, and now they have a chance to give back,” King said. “Events like this are beneficial because students can practice real-world skills in a relaxed learning environment with professionals who really care about their success.”