Oklahoma Christian University’s School of Business is hosting its annual Business Pathways Expo on Friday, Oct. 27 for business majors.
Assistant Professor of Accounting Jillian Johnson gave a rundown of what the Expo looks like.
“The Expo is designed to mimic a professional conference. There is a main session with a speaker, networking sessions where students talk with local business professionals, and there are breakout sessions that cover various relevant topics in business,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the wide-range of brands and businesses at the conference will allow students to easily find what relates to them.
“This year, we have 20 organizations that will be represented at the Expo. The idea is that a student who may be interested in marketing can talk to someone who does marketing at Loves Travel Stops, The VI Brand and Hogan Taylor to get an idea of the different career paths in marketing and the skill set needed in those areas,” Johnson said. “Students interested in accounting, finance, management, administration and entrepreneurship can all have the same opportunity to research a career path that matches their interests and talents.”
Though a conference may sound daunting to some, Johnson said this conference will enable students to practice much needed skills used in the business world through less constricted measures.
“This event not only helps students research and gather information on business career paths, but it also helps them develop soft skills. Networking is not a fun thing for most people but is necessary in the business community,” Johnson said. “Giving students the ability to practice networking at the Expo allows them to be more comfortable at career fairs and seeking internships when those soft skills can make or break a job opportunity.”
In addition to giving students valuable skills that will last beyond college, Johnson said the Expo also creates the opportunity for students to explore career paths in an inviting setting.
“God gave us all various talents for a reason, and helping students match their talents to a career path is one of the objectives of the Business Pathways Expo,” Johnson said. “What better way to explore business career paths than by talking to people experienced in those areas? And what better way to do that than to bring those experts to campus to meet with students in a non-pressure, welcoming environment?”
With the Expo being just one of many unique opportunities for business majors, Johnson said students should always be taking advantage of these events.
“Take advantage of any professional development opportunity. It might be intimidating and take students out of their comfort zones, but there is so much growth that happens in those moments in life,” Johnson said.
Administration Assistant for the School of Business Shannon Phelps said the conference can help prepare students for their futures in various ways.
“The Expo is set up like a professional workshop. It puts students in a professional setting where they meet and interact with business professionals,” Phelps said. “It helps prepare them for future career fairs, job interviews, internships and eventually, job applications in the real world.”
Unlike the career fairs the business department regularly holds, Phelps said this conference is different.
“Because this is not a career fair, students do not have to worry about bringing a resume or preparing for a job interview,” Phelps said. “It’s simply a great way to see what business professionals do and what kind of skills are needed for different businesses around the region.”
The Business Expo will take place on Friday, Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. Although registration has already closed, students interested in similar experiences can look forward to more business conferences coming up.