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Business Day links students to area businesses

February  21, 2014

Businesses looking for connections with some of the area’s best and brightest college students are invited to register now for the 38th annual Business Day at Augustana College.

Susan Black-Beth
Susan Black-Beth

Business Day 2014, which falls on Friday, April 25, has grown into one of the area’s premier networking and job-shadowing events. Last year, 143 Augustana students spent the day with 47 employers, from major international corporations to smaller Quad Cities-based companies. Students are able to learn about corporate leadership by communicating with business leaders, and companies are given the opportunity to communicate the strengths of their organizations to the students.

The day of networking begins with a breakfast and keynote address in Augustana’s Carver P.E. Center. This year’s keynote speaker, Susan E. Black-Beth, CFE, is a 1999 Augustana graduate who is now the chief operating officer of Super Wash, Inc. In her current role, she is responsible for the relationships with the franchisees of 140 locations, the operations of 140 company-managed facilities, franchise development and transfers, marketing, social media and strategic partnerships.

Black-Beth is excited to return to campus and share her experiences. She values Business Day as she finds it important for young people to experience the “real work world” as early as possible.

“Any time someone can demonstrate they have practical experience in a given situation, that is likely going to put them ahead of the curve. I want to work with people who are confident in their abilities, but who also understand the importance of working your way up and learning everything you can on every rung of the ladder,” said Black-Beth. “Events like Business Day help students work through some of the nerves, and hopefully help them gain perspective of what they are really going to be up against out there.”

After meeting, breakfast and Black-Beth’s remarks on campus, business representatives and students head out for a day of job shadowing and information gathering at company offices.

“We’ve had several Augustana graduates start and end their career with Edward Jones Investments, and this event deepens that relationship,” said Chris Caspers, financial advisor and limited partner of Edward Jones Investments. “Over the past 10 to 15 years, it has become more difficult for college graduates to find work immediately out of college due to a difficult economic environment; Edward Jones’ goal with participating in this event is to bridge that gap to a smoother career transition for Augustana graduates interested in the business and investment fields of work.”

“The Quad Cities CVB has participated for several years because it is a great way for our industry and organization to meet and introduce students to travel and tourism as a potential career path,” explained Joe Taylor, president and CEO of Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Business Day is a chance to give back to Augie and the community and interact with both the education and business communities.”

Students use this opportunity as a way to gain vocational skills, learn how to conduct themselves professionally, make connections and learn about careers. “I wanted to experience my potential profession firsthand in order to get a better idea if it was something I could see myself doing,” said Ben Fornek, a junior at Augustana.

Business Day co-chairs Tyler Richards, a senior business administration major with concentrations in marketing and management, and Austin Lusson, a senior business administration and communications studies major, hope that both companies and students can get exactly what they are hoping to get from participating in this day.

“Tyler and I have made it our goal to get more companies and students involved in the event than ever before, because we want to benefit as many as we can, both students and companies,” said Lusson.

Companies interested in participating should contact Judy Campos, business program administrator, at 309-794-7470.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833