A new Madison County Chamber program will provide students the opportunity to get a head start in their career by connecting them with business leaders while they’re still in college.
AT&T presented the Madison County Chamber with a $5,000 contribution Wednesday afternoon to kick off a new program called Student to Pro that will get students from Anderson University, Harrison College, the Purdue University College of Technology, and Ivy Tech Community College involved with the chamber.
It’s a first-time initiative, said Kyle Morey, president and CEO of the Madison County Chamber, and a big chunk of the program is all about connections.
Student representatives from each of the schools were in attendance, and many said the program will provide students with opportunities.
“I think it’s a great program. I do,” Purdue student Jon Osborne, an organizational leadership and supervision major, said. “A sign of better things to come.”
Osborne said he’s excited about the program because it helps students look to the future. He said the program will assist in the transition from student to career, which can be scary.
Harrison business management major Michelle Fields said the program will give students the important opportunity to interact with businesses.
“Some students aren’t aware of how things work (outside the classroom),” she said.
David Lewis, director of external affairs at AT&T, said he knew from the beginning the program could become a good opportunity for those involved.
“It’s very important we invest in the future,” he said to the student representatives, “because you are the future.”
Lewis said the current work force is looking to the students to be successful.
Chamber Executive Vice President Angela Barbosa said she and Morey brainstormed and came up with the idea for Student to Pro.
Morey said they wanted to design a program that would help students “connect, learn, and grow.”
According to Barbosa, the program basically offers a student membership into the chamber that will allow the students to receive newsletters, event invites, along with benefits like access to the membership database to assist in “making that connection” with business leaders.
Right now, the program is in the final stages of development and is expected to begin in January, she said.
In the future, she said, they’d like Student to Pro to be more hands-on with one-on-one interactions in what she called the tier-two level of the project, which they hope will be put into place at the beginning of the 2012 academic year.
Barbosa said they’ll help students build their résumés and make those connections, but it’s up to the students themselves to actively participate and get involved with the businesses.
— Dani Palmer is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.