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WHS students Joselyn Schnakenberg, Madison Talbert, Spencer Clark, Jack Maass, and Corby Brigham attended the 2016 Creighton University Business Symposium in Omaha, NE on Nov. 11.

WHS business students hobnob with executives & Creighton U faculty at annual symposium

Yearly event exposes students to what it takes to be successful in business world

Since 2004, the annual Creighton Business Symposium has brought together Creighton business students, faculty, and business executives from across the country to discuss today’s business environment. In addition to the 1,000 in attendance, 100 high school students from the area were invited to attend this year's symposium, which was held on November 11 on the Creighton University campus. This year Wahoo High School had five seniors take part in the event. 

The symposium included keynote addresses from two Creighton University graduates. The morning speaker was Jeanne Sullivan, an entrepreneur, chief inspiration officer for Sullivan Adventures and co-founder of StarVest Partners, and the afternoon keynote speaker was Jayme Martin, vice president and general manager of Nike, Inc.’s global categories.

In between speakers, the high school students split from the rest of the group. They were presented information by Creighton faculty, students, and graduates on various college topics. Students also took part in interactive and networking activities.

Jack Maass and Corby Brigham practice the art of conversation with Creighton faculty and alumni.
WHS Business Instructor Barb Shanahan has two favorite high school student activities at the Symposium. The first is the networking activity. Each student is given his/her own pre-printed business cards. They then go through a presentation learning the art of mingling and making conversation with people they have never met. They are given sample questions to use when meeting someone for the first time, and they practice handshakes. Students then put what they have learned to practice by actually mingling with Creighton faculty and alumnus. They introduce themselves, start conversations, and share their business cards.

“We are told we need to know how to meet new people when we go to college, but until now, we never have a chance to practice it. It’s a good thing,” commented WHS senior Madison Talbert.

Students put their etiquette lesson to use at a formal lunch.

The second activity is when students are taught the proper manners to use at a formal dinner, such as which way to pass the food, when to use different utensils, how to butter one’s bread, and how to put your silverware on the plate to signal to the server you are finished.

The students then return to the regular symposium and are served a formal dinner. Here they can put their newly learned skills to practice!

“They definitely watch each other to make sure they are doing it correctly!” Shanahan said.

WHS senior Spencer Clark sated that “it was fun going through this process with my peers.”

“It is exciting to see everyone dressed in business attire. It’s a great experience for the high school students in preparing them for the adult world of college and business,” Shanahan added.

WHS business students hobnob with executives & Creighton U faculty at annual symposium

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