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A&L plans business boot camp

Carly Landon | Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Though most students don’t see Arts and Letters as a gateway to a business career, some are finding it can be just that.

This Spring Break from March 8 to 11, the Career Center and the College of Arts and Letters will hold their second-annual Business Boot Camp in downtown Chicago for 16 Arts and Letters students.

“This program is not designed to replace a business degree,” Lissa Bill, Business Career Programs Counselor, said. “We aren’t saying you will learn everything a business student knows about accounting, marketing or finance, but it will give students an opportunity to briefly experience those fields, network, work in teams and learn the basic principles of business.”

Sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for the four-day program held in Notre Dame’s Executive Education Building in Chicago, but they must be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Arts and Letters, according to Bill. 

Bill said The Arts and Letters’ Advisory Council started this program after discussions amongst themselves and with students made it clear there was a need for some educational experience in business for Arts and Letters students. They then teamed up with the Career Center to offer the Boot Camp program to students.

The program offers Arts & Letters’ students the opportunity to learn various aspects of marketing, business operations, financial analysis and management. Students work in teams to develop and present solutions to business problems while engaging with employers, Bill said. Lectures are given by Career Center representatives, Arts and Letters alumni and employers of Notre Dame graduates.

Some participants from last year’s program noted the value of a humanities education in the business world.

“The program helped me appreciate the value of a liberal arts education, and that for those who want to be in business as a liberal arts major, their education in the humanities simply fosters a more broad understanding of the world,” junior Sara McLay said.

Last year’s Boot Camp program — the first ever — had 11 sophomores and juniors participate from a variety of majors. Some participants from last year who are now seniors are interviewing for fulltime business positions. Others have continued their business education in follow-up activities such as internships.

“I was an English major who went into business prior to coming to work at Notre Dame,” Bill said. “I think it is important to show students they can study what they want to study and still choose a career in business.”

Bill emphasized that employers will hire students with a humanities degree, as long as they have the right skills and attitude.

“Many Arts and Letters students do go into business. Employers are very open to students from this College and are trying to make sure that Arts and Letters students know these jobs are open to them, not just business students,” she said. “As long as they can show they have the qualifications and a desire to work in that field, they can get hired because nine times out of 10 an employer will teach them what they need to know

An information meeting is being held tonight in the Dooley Room of LaFortune at 6 p.m., and applications are due Nov. 23 by 5 p.m.