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Business School Students Join Together For Inaugural Gala

Thursday February 28th, 2019, 9:00am


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Taking care of business, some college students are selling out and making connections along the way.

Happening on Friday, March 1, first year students from the Zekelman school of business are putting on a gala. Hosted at the St. Clair College Centre For the Arts, those in the accounting, marketing, human resource and finance programs are ready to present themselves and network with professionals.

Coming together quickly, the show will have 250 attendees on hand.

“The five members that make up the Accounting & Finance Association club (AFA) had an idea of bringing together accounting, marketing, human resource and finance students because after the first year of the programs, they separate into their own specific area of study,” said AFA treasurer, Anthony Paglia. ” “So, we wanted to create some sort of event to bring everyone together and we thought about having a dinner which turned into the idea of the Gala. We were just given contacts for St. Clair Center for the Arts to get an idea of what it would take and suddenly everything just snowballed. The next thing we knew the event was sold out.”

Exploring a world beyond the classroom, organizers hope the gala gives students an idea of what local business opportunities exist. Beyond connecting with classmates and professionals, Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rakesh Naidu is scheduled to be the gala’s keynote speaker.

Companies confirmed to attend are Hawkins & Co. Accounting, along with Gail’s Flowers and Event Décor. Several independent consultants will also be connecting with those on hand, helping students prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.

Speaking of students, some groups will also make brief presentations. Promoting specific programs, the treasurer thinks it could greatly impact their growth.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without some help along the way. Gaining assistance internally, the AFA is receiving support from outside vendors too.

“We’ve made a few partnerships along the way, some of which were the other business clubs that have helped promote this event,” said Paglia. “The St. Clair Zekelman school of business and I.T. has graciously offered their sponsorship and assisted us with ideas and promotion. The international office, which assists international students, has also partnered with us and promoting to the students they represent. Hawkins & Co. Accounting is also a sponsor with strong connections with professors and students at the college. The one partner that surprised us the most was Gail’s Flowers and Event Décor. They have graciously given their time to decorate the hall where our event is being held.”

With it being the first project that business school students from different programs put together, the hope is to create bigger events more frequently. It’s something organizers think will bring more excitement to students and the community.

Paglia also hopes that businesses and students alike look back at this gala’s benefits. For him, it goes beyond planning a simple gathering.

“Moving forward, we’re hoping that other students see this as not just being able to put an event together but to network and make connections with the people along the way,” he said. “We’re hoping, as the event continues, that employers can see the drive and ambition in the students who put these types of events together, meet and talk to them. They will be able to see the skill level that those students have.”

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