Building Responsible Leaders at MBV

The days are just packed here at MBV! It has been amazing to watch the campers go from strangers, to a tight-knit group of friends. The companies are making progress on their business plans, and it was a joy to watch the groups come together to share their business plan ideas today. The students are maturing into young business professionals and we cannot wait until to see the culmination of all of their hard work at the business plan presentations tomorrow.

Today was full of information from Allstate Insurance about becoming a safe, responsible, policy holder. Allstate provided valuable and relevant information about the type of insurance everyone should carry, and gave great tips to campers about responsible ways to lower their premiums. The presentation was focused on insurance and safe driving habits. Allstate handed out “Texting Kills” finger bands to the campers as a constant reminder that no text is worth risking their safety, or the safety of others, on the road. The presentations were capped off with personal anecdotes about insurance claims and the dos and don’ts of buying insurance. The students were captivated by the presentation and could not wait to ask questions at the end. Questions ranged from, “What is the best car for a new driver?” to “Will keeping my GPA up in college allow me to lower my premium?” The speakers were friendly, engaging, and able to knowledgeably answer the students’ questions.

With safety and responsibility on their minds, the campers then moved on to their philanthropy sessions to learn about all of Minnesota’s renowned nonprofits. The campers practiced crafting a mission statement for their company and choosing charities that align with the mission statement. This session was reminiscent of opening speaker Daniel Shannon’s message about having a vision for yourself and your company. This directly relates to the purpose of philanthropy which is all about looking forward and not relying on past achievements to drive success. The philanthropy sessions ended leaving all of the students very thankful and introspective about what values they hold and how they can use those values to direct their company’s mission statement.

The day ended with one of the most important speakers of the week. University of St. Thomas Law Fellow Hank Shea returned with Dave Irvin to tell a very personal story about business ethics and how one wrong choice gave Irvin a life he never intended to have. Irvin’s story is one of tragedy and ruin that ultimately lead him to spend one year and one day in prison. He shared the emotional and psychological hardships he faced while in prison, and in life as a convicted felon. The story resonated with every person in the room, while providing a stark reminder that hard choices face everyone. Shea and Irvin tell this story to not to teach business ethics, but to hopefully serve as a reminder when the wrong choices present themselves in life.

Tomorrow is the big day! The campers will all present their business plans to the judges, and their hard work will finally payoff. It is sure to be a day filled with nerves, and elation. All of us cannot wait to see the campers succeed and achieve the goals of MBV: gaining leadership, practicing teamwork, building a network, and meeting new friends.