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Arts and Letters to offer Business Boot Camp

Emma Russ | Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Come March, some students will head to the beach for Spring Break, but a select group of Arts and Letters students will ship off to boot camp: Business Boot Camp.

The College of Arts and Letters is currently accepting applications for the program, a crash course in all things business, program coordinator Lissa Bill said.

“The purpose of the Arts and Letters Business Boot Camp is to give Arts and Letters students an overview of the business world,” she said. “It is a chance for them to gain exposure to some of the fundamentals of business while exploring different areas and career paths within business.”

The program, a joint effort between the College and the Career Center, will bring students to Chicago from March 12-15 to explore a number of business career paths available in the city.

“They will gain exposure to marketing, finance, accounting, strategy and business ethics,” Bill said. “They will have the opportunity to work in teams on a business case and develop a presentation. Each team then presents their final recommendations to a panel of employers and alumni on the last day of the trip.”

The alumni interaction is one of the most beneficial aspects of the program, Bill said.

“The alumni involved with the program are great,” she said. “They are committed to letting Arts and Letters students know how valuable their skills are in the world of business.”

Reaffirming the value of a liberal arts degree is important, Bill said, because a business degree is not as crucial to success as many Arts and Letters majors think.

“When you look at Arts and Letters’ placement rates for six months post-graduation, the number of students still seeking jobs is very small and virtually the same as for those students that are business majors,” she said. “Former Boot Camp participants have found internships and full-time positions at companies such as Target, The Boston Consulting Group, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.”

Senior Tim Crowley, who attended Business Boot Camp last spring, said the program had a major impact on his search for an internship and full-time employment.

“The networking helped me to find a full-time job,” he said. “Boot Camp also gave me something to talk about in interviews. It’s something employers are really interested in hearing about.”

Bill said the program leaders are mindful of the fact that the participants are on Spring Break, and try to balance the business with fun, offering dinner outings and a trip to the Art Institute.

“We want it to be an enjoyable and enlightening experience,” she said. “Students need to know that the skills they are developing in Arts and Letters are valuable in the world of business.”