On Thursday, February 13 the International School of Business hosted 60 students from six area high schools for a “Business Day at Finlandia.” The event, held at the Finnish American Heritage Center, was organized to introduce high school students to the world of business and to give them a taste of the opportunities that a career in business provides. Business Day at Finlandia was organized by the Finlandia chapter of Business Professionals of America (BPA) to coincide with National BPA Week.
After words of welcome by BPA student president Dylan Underwood and Finlandia President Philip Johnson, MTEC SmartZone CEO Dan Jamison gave the keynote presentation to open the day. Students heard about the important role that the SmartZone plays in business development in the Keweenaw. In addition, they heard about the SmartStart program. SmartStart is an excellent resource for anyone with a business idea that educates and guides the prospective entrepreneur through the process of validating and growing their idea. Assistant professor Rene Johnson then introduced the students to CliftonStrengths, a personality assessment tool that identifies an individual’s talents, or strengths. Other activities included a presentation on teamwork by Finlandia men’s basketball coach Sam Casey and important tips when using social media to develop a personal brand by Anastazia Hartman, social & digital media specialist at Finlandia.
The final highlight was an interactive marketing activity put on by marketing professor Paul Werner in which students were put into groups and given basic materials including boxes and paper. From this, they had to envision a product, create a social media and YouTube advertisement, a selling price for the product and identification of the channel (e.g. Walmart, Amazon) whereby customers could purchase the product. The day ended with lunch and a quick tour of the Finlandia campus.
“It was wonderful to see my students interacting with other high school students, college students, professors, and business members from our community,” said Houghton High School’s technology, business and math teacher Jennifer Rubin. “The energy in the room was professional and loads of fun. My students are still talking about this experience several days later. The Finlandia students and faculty planned a great event that they should be proud of.”
”I think Business Day was a success in many ways,” said Underwood, a junior studying Marketing. “We brought students out of their comfort zones and had excellent speakers share real-world experiences. I would like to thank everyone that made this day possible, especially the BPA members for coming together and working to make the event a