Saint Leo University Holds Annual Business and Career Week Events

February 29, 2016

A series of free events were held recently at Saint Leo University with the purpose of supporting students by sharpening specific skills for their upcoming career search. The four-day Business and Career Week 2016 program was presented by the Donald R. Tapia School of Business faculty and Saint Leo University’s Office of Career Planning staff.

The activities and events in which students learned how to sharpen skills for their future career search included:

  • Business card clinic– 62 registered students received free business cards. 
  • Northwestern Mutual workshop– Attendees heard from a recruiting professional about the best practices for winning the “résumé game.”
  • Drop-in advising– Saint Leo Career Planning provided advice to students on career choices.
  • Mock interview workshop– Students practiced their interviewing skills during a simulated session with faculty, Career Planning staff, and Saint Leo MBA students. 
  • Dress for Success– The fourth annual fashion show illustrated to students that while they don’t have to wear a lifeless uniform, there are wardrobe mistakes they can avoid.
  • Career Fair– Hosted by Career Planning, students networked and learned about internship and career possibilities.
  • Pasco Economic Development Council’s (PEDC) SMARTstart Challenge Business Pitch and the finals of the student business plan competition– The field of four student finalists pitched their business plan in aSharkTank-style format. The SMARTstart Challenge featured local entrepreneurs competing for a cash prize and a six-month membership in the SMARTstart Pasco Business incubator.

In the latter competition, four Saint Leo University students competed for $1,500 in cash prizes and free tuition to PEDC’s Company Starter program, a 10-week, small business development course ($295 value) courtesy of the university’s partners at Smartstart Pasco.

The participants and winners (and their business ideas) were:Niclas -Bez

  • First Place ($1,000) –Niclas Bez ’17,business administration –Peak Running, a running sock designed to prevent blisters.
  • Second Place ($500) –Helena Frazier ’17,accounting MBA –Kenya Klips/Kokoa Kase, ethnic cosmetic and beauty solutions
  • Tiera Bath ’17,health care administration –Stompa Aerobics, fitness equipment
  • David Fromhart ’18,psychology –Delivery Squad, campus-wide food delivery service.

The former competition (Smartstart Challenge) included three Saint Leo students:Jazmine Sweet ’17,marketing;Bethanee Reynolds ’17,communications; andKristina Niccolls ’19. accounting and economics. The Pride Consulting students won third place ($400 prize) for their business idea.

Their presentation,Collegiate Café, described their business model, which capitalizes on the synergy between higher education branded merchandise and the growing Keurig® single serve coffee market (51 million brewing machines in the last five years), and nearly $10 billion in annual cups sales. The sales of the branded “Café Leo” K-cups locally and online, serve as a fundraising project for student groups while providing students with real-world business experience. Collegiate Café generates its revenue through product sales to student groups. The model also offers student entrepreneurs the opportunity to contribute to local communities by earmarking a portion of the profits for community projects conducted by students.

“Business and Career Week was a series of free events presented by the Donald R. Tapia School of Business faculty and Career Services staff in support of Saint Leo students,” said Dr. Adam Shoemaker, associate professor of management and human resource management at Saint Leo University. “All students were encouraged to attend these events to sharpen their skills for their upcoming career search.”