Students from Michigan State University’s Residential Business Program (RBP) connected with potential employers over community service at the RBP Day of Service on November 1, serving others while building beneficial professional relationships.

RBP students work to clean up the Greater Lansing Food Bank Garden Project garden space.

RBP students work to clean up the Greater Lansing Food Bank Garden Project garden space.

RBP provides freshmen and sophomores in the Broad College of Business with professional development opportunities and support in acclimating to university life. The Freshman Seminar for Business (BUS 101), which RBP students take during their first semester, is one course that helps to prepare them to be leaders in the world of business.

“One of the core values of the Residential Business Program is making a difference in the world,” said Amy Radford-Popp, assistant director of the Residential Business Program and Undergraduate Academic Services. “You see that value in the servant leadership incorporated throughout our BUS 101 class.”

“Students get so caught up with their studies and extracurricular activities, like jobs and organizations,” said Sarah Belcher (BA Hospitality Business ’16), a teaching assistant for BUS 101. “It is important to have the opportunity to give back.”

RBP’s Day of Service focused on assistance in three areas: cleaning up the Greater Lansing Food Bank’s Garden Project and City of Lansing parks, decorating the Old Town Lansing historic neighborhood for the holidays, and assisting the Asset Independence Coalition.

At each of these sites, students worked alongside corporate mentors, providing opportunities for students to interact with business professionals in a relaxed environment.

“The setting was less formal than normal situations when professionals network with students,” said Kinzer Jennings, a consultant at Deloitte & Touche LLP. “Instead of asking a panel of people or approaching a company at a career fair, the students were able to ask many questions in a setting that allowed for more dialogue and interaction.”

Phil Klebba, a consultant in security and privacy services, agreed, explaining that “being able to share that passion [for Deloitte as a workplace] with young adults is important to me and many of my colleagues.” Nick Matijega, corporate recruiter for United Shore Financial Services, added, “It was a bonus that we were able to help the community while networking.”

While students learned about the corporate experiences of the professionals volunteering alongside them, they also learned about the role of service in professional life.

“Having the corporate folks there made the students realize that community service and principles of personal/social responsibility have become an important element in the business world,” said Sarah Pink (BA Accounting ’15), a teaching assistant and student coordinator of the event.

During spring semester, RBP students will be involved in Relay for Life, a book drive, and an Adopt-a-Highway clean-up.