Summer is here, but just because school is out doesn’t mean the opportunities for volunteering end! Minnesota Business Venture (MBV), BestPrep’s week-long summer program will be returning to in-person sessions at the University of St. Thomas and St. John’s University this July, with many rewarding opportunities to connect with students and gain professional development. We spoke with longtime Resident Business Leader (RBL), Rick Anderson of Advisor Group, who has been volunteering with BestPrep since 2011 on his experience.
Q: You have been an RBL multiple times – what brings you back each year?
A: I think of MBV as a short sabbatical. A week in the summer on a college campus is a great change of pace from my usual work/life. The camps are different each year, and the Advisory Committee works on continually improving the programs.
Q: What have you learned from the students? Has being an RBL given you an opportunity to grow personally/professionally?
A: I am encouraged by how receptive they are to learning and working together during the week. The first day they are strangers, and the rooms are quiet. But there are a lot more conversations among new friends as time passes. Helping people complete a polished presentation is a leadership and project management challenge for anyone and elevates your skills. I have seen several RBLs get promoted or offered new positions after attending MBV.
Q. Can you share a favorite memory from MBV?
A. I am very proud when someone that we have worked with decides to come back to camp in a CEO leadership role. It must mean that they have enjoyed their experience and have enough self-confidence to teach a team of their peers. I am in awe of the personal growth of some students. I remember one student that progressed from being reluctant to talk in class to speaking before hundreds at Birdies [for BestPrep]!
Being an RBL is just one of the many ways you can volunteer at MBV. Day volunteer positions include Mock Interviewer, Business Plan Judge, and Financial Planner for Q&A. To read more about these opportunities and MBV, visit the Minnesota Business Venture website or contact Program Manager Janae Olinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-233-6325.