Managing the future: organization helps prepare students for careers in today’s business world

Members of the Society for Advancement in Management need fresh faces to support and possibly lead them in the upcoming years. Because of the chapter’s size and because a majority of its officers graduated last December, its future leaders have an opportunity to make an impact.

SAM’s mission: to better prepare its members for the business world through interaction with community and business leaders.

Chapter secretary, Joanna Monk, said she hopes to see the society become a part of the network of businesses in the Richmond area, which would allow the members an option to utilize more outside resources to help them develop their careers.

Martina Arel, the chapter’s president, who joined the group in fall 2001, said that she a faculty member advised her to join the organization because it would complement her business administration major.

After joining, Arel discovered that she, indeed, had her work cut out for her.

“I tried to find out who the faculty adviser was,” she said. “They gave me Dr. (Ibrahim) Kurtulus’s name. I got in touch with Dr. Kurtulus, and he told me that if I signed up, I’d be the only member.”

Despite the disheartening discovery, Arel became the group’s lone member and she was determined to rebuild the organization from the ground up, thus, Arel and Kurtulus began their search for new members.

Arel said she first wanted to attract new recruits so SAM could be reinstated as an officially recognized student organization. After acquiring a sufficient staff, Arel, then a junior, began to shape the management society not only into her vision but also into that of every member.

“Every member can…put in what they like,” she said. “Every member can propose a guest speaker.”

To promote direct input for the organization, Arel said she encouraged all members to attend the officer meetings. Having played a significant role in rebuilding the VCU chapter, she said she intentionally designed an open system that would seek input from all levels.

Since its reformation, the members have sponsored several guest speakers for VCU students that included a networking seminar with Jim Roman, a member of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

The management society was also behind the doughnut sale on campus last semester. In addition, it has arranged numerous socials with the student Financial Management Association and with the Society for Human Resource Management.

The group plans to arrange for Johnny Johnson, president of the Community Pride grocery stores, and Robley Wood of the Virginia Department of Management to speak to students on important postgraduate subjects, including possible career opportunities.

Monk said the society also wants to arrange for an expert to visit the campus to speak about the Graduate Management Aptitude Test, a business-management-orientated test required for entry into many graduate business programs. “Such a speaker,” Monk said, “could give students a better idea of what to expect when taking the test.”

In late April, the president will conduct elections for all officer positions. Arel, who graduates this spring, said she hopes to leave the group with a full schedule of guest speakers and activities for the next academic year.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply