SCSU 2017: The Challenge Has Started

We started the day off with a presentation by Michael Keller, the CEO and president of Pearson’s Candy Company. Michael started off sharing about how he loves helping others. Before Pearson’s, Michael was the CMO for  Dairy Queen International and held the top marketing posts at Jamba Juice,, Koo Koo Roo, and Baskin Robbins, USA. Learning about his journey and aspects of a job kept the students engaged and participating in asking him questions. Michael encouraged the students to think about their own personal brand to help them succeed.


After our speaker Michael, the students headed outside for Camp Jam! They participated in numerous activities, competing with the other companies while  learning team-building skills. Each company started off making a banner and coming up with a slogan. Creativity flowed through the companies as they were challenged with the human knot. They learned to work together and strategize, and you could see the determination they had to get through these challenges. The hard work and determination they showed with these challenges will help them get through their business plans.


Next, after lunch, the students went to breakout sessions. The breakout sessions were on five different topics: Presentation skills, Interviewing Skills, Time Management, True Colors, and Emotional Intelligence.

     Presentation skills was presented by Eric Forstrom, Vice President, Small Business Segment Product & Strategy from U.S. Bank. For some, public speaking is the worst, and learning how to give effective presentations in front of a group of people can be scary. This session taught the students tips and tricks to help prepare them for their Business Plan presentations at the end of the week.

     Interviewing skills was taught by Renee Vevea, Campus Recruiter at Ecolab. Interviewing for a job, internship, college, or volunteering can be nerve wracking. First impressions are important, and it only takes four seconds to make one. This session was to help prepare the students for their Mock Interviews tomorrow to get a gist of what they should expect.

     Time Management was presented by Mary Soroko, Student Development Director form Herberger Business School. Effectively managing time means assigning the right amount of time to the important things in life. This session taught the students the importance of managing their time for when they’re coming up with their business plans. Knowing the importance of time management will help the students plan everything that needs to be done for their products by the end of the week.

     True Colors was put on my Samantha Funk, Program Manager of eMentors at BestPrep. This presentation shows how everyone offers different skills in a group and how to work with them. They took a personality test and figured out what color they are to figure out and learn more about themselves. Knowing what these colors mean about them, whether they are the life of the party or the diligent organizer, they talked in groups about their strengths and weaknesses and how they correlate with each other.

     Emotional Intelligence was presented by Sara Olson, Learning Solutions Senior Consultant from Allianz Life. People with a high emotional intelligence (EQ) are the ones that everyone wants on their team. Superior EQ skills are linked to high achievement, great teamwork, and effective stress management. This session taught the students the basics of emotional intelligence and why it matters. With this knowledge, the students will know ways to manage their stress and work together with their team in getting their business plans done. This session also showed them how to improve their own EQ and how to leverage those skills to help make them stand out in the real world.


After learning those skills, the students attended an Entrepreneurship panel. The students got to ask about their career paths and how they got to where they are. Learning ways to help them move up in the world earlier leads to a bright future, and we can’t wait to see what products the students come up with.

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