It is the beginning of November, the leaves have officially turned the crisp colors of fall that everyone anxiously awaits, and a Michigan State University charter bus is pulling out of Bogue Circle with a group of future business leaders. The Multicultural Business Students’ (MBS) 13th Annual Leadership Retreat has commenced.

The goal of the leadership retreat is to bring together members of Multicultural Business Programs in a relaxed environment that promotes camaraderie, professional development, and corporate networking amongst all individuals. The Executive Board o works tirelessly for the first two months of the semester to tie together all of the loose ends that are required to pull off such an event. Corporations need to contacted, location and transportation needs to booked, and applications need to be turned in and reviewed. Evan Kennebrew, President of Multicultural Business Students said, “the leadership retreat is MBS’ staple event which incorporates all aspects of what MBS wishes to provide its members and as President this year I was excited to be a part of the team which gave this opportunity to so many young professionals”.

The five companies that presented this year were: Eaton Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Conoco Phillips, Altria Group, and General Electric. All of the companies put on fantastic workshops with various topics such as “Motivation”, “Networking”, “Interviewing”, “Ethics” and a case study which allowed the participants to have an interactive dialogue with the recruiters.

Melissa Luther, a supply chain management freshman, said that her favorite corporate presenter was Conoco Phillips, who had the group perform a case study on the company’s recent efforts to split into 2 separate companies, because “it was very interactive and I felt like I left with a stronger understanding of the oil industry. Developing a strategy to divide the companies incorporated business concepts at a real-life perspective”.

Vito Caro, a marketing sophomore, also enjoyed Conoco Phillips presentation because “they got everyone involved and showed us a good example of a problem that they had as a company”.

Kim Rizzo, President of Native American & Hispanic Business Students said she enjoyed the Altria presentation on motivation because “it allowed everyone to contribute an opinion about their personal triumphs and tribulations in regards to motivation through adversity”.

The Leadership Retreat provides more than just professional opportunities for participants. Students from all four organizations under Multicultural Business Programs were present for the retreat, giving participants the chance to start building a network of peers. “The ability to bond and form a team really allowed each person to become a leader in their own, special way,” stated Vivek Iyer, freshmen MBS member.

Marketing freshman, Colleen Gallagher, said “interacting with students to grow [a bond] and support systems really helps one grow personally and professionally by allowing greater network connections”.

From late night campfires and ghost stories to polar dives and s’mores, the Leadership Retreat provided many avenues to showcase creativity, spontaneity, and initiative. Kaleigh Wilson, Fundraising Chair for Women In Business Students’ Association explained, “[The Leadership Retreat] went beyond the typical interaction between peers and recruiters. [It] created a more in depth interaction than a typical one hour meeting with corporate presenters and it allowed for deeper interaction and connection between people who have the potential of being lifelong networks and friends.”

The Leadership Retreat happens in early November every year. Be sure to be on the lookout for the 14th Annual Leadership Retreat in 2012. “[The Leadership Retreat] was an opportunity for us to network with recruiters on a professional and social level and simultaneously bond with other members. I definitely recommend the leadership retreat to any MBP member,” said Nicolette Daka, an accounting sophomore.