I left work today feeling very inspired. Of the 30 students that make up the Business Network for Aboriginal Youth at CBU, 19 are either in grade 11 or 12. We invited all of these students to come and experience CBU for a day – eight took us up on our offer. These students are from Wagmatcook, Membertou, Glooscap, and Bear River – all First Nation communities in Nova Scotia.
We had a jam-packed day planned for them, which was highlighted by a tour of the soon to be complete Shannon School of Business building, which the students were in complete awe of. They were particularly impressed by the “school within a school” feel that this building has. In addition, the students visited Unama’ki College and the Mi’kmaq Resource Centre. The majority of the students did not even know these facilities existed on campus and were very happy to hear that there is a place at CBU that the Mi’kmaq people can call home! These youth have now seen first hand the strong Mi’kmaq presence at CBU – and I can tell you, they liked what they saw!
I also thought it would be important for these students to attend a few BBA classes to get a preview of what a university business course is all about. They sat in on two classes: Financial Accounting II and Human Resource Management. And, they actually got to participate in an Introduction to Marketing class! One thing I was very surprised by was how much they enjoyed these classes. Once we left each class, I was amazed by how excited these students were to learn about things like employment equity, direct and indirect costs, and marketing via questionnaires. I wish I had had a tape recorder to make sure I could remember all of the interesting and inspiring things they were saying. These are the ones I currently recall:
“Today has completely changed my perspective on university, and on business in general – look at all the possibilities!”
“Accounting really fits with my learning style. Its very much black and white.”
“That class was awesome (HR Management)! This is an element of business I never knew existed.”
“I can see now you don’t have to know everything to be a manager, you just have to have strong vision.”
Pretty powerful quotes if you ask me!
Of the eight students, two are in grade 12, and one had been accepted into business at CBU and will start in September. Of the other six students, all are significantly interested in studying business after they graduate from high school. Whether they choose CBU is not the most important thing. What’s most important is that they make the choice to study something they are interested in, there is demand for, and will help give back to their community. Each of these students have a strong interest in business, business is in demand in each of their communities, and there education would help to stimulate economic development in their community. As I mentioned in a previous blog: these students just needed the exposure to business to discover their passion for it. The Business Network for Aboriginal Youth, as well as their day spent at CBU today has helped them discover this passion.