From the beginning of their collegiate studies in business, to their first steps into the professional world, students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are benefiting from the Business Transitions Program.

The goal of the program is to give SIUE students a competitive edge in the professional workforce by helping mold them into successful business leaders during their college career.

“Our primary objective is to enhance their professionalism,” said Tim Schoenecker, associate professor of management in the SIUE School of Business. “Anything we can do to better prepare them for their transition to business professionals is beneficial.”

The program is comprised of two one-credit courses. Students enroll in the first, “Business Transitions I: Planning for Success,” as they transition into the SIUE School of Business, typically during their sophomore or junior year. The second course, “Business Transitions II: Commitment Beyond College,” is taken during the students’ last semester in the School.

Students are introduced to concepts like individual responsibility, ethical behavior, global perspectives on business and personal financial planning. The courses also further develop their professional skills related to networking, interviewing and business etiquette.

“Students are prompted to create their resume and utilize University resources through which they will obtain career guidance,” explained Norris Manning, director of academic services for the School of Business. “Through the program, they are required to become more involved in the University community by attending events or participating in campus activities.”

Each course has an etiquette component, a mock networking event in the first course and an etiquette meal in the second course, hosted by Melenie Broyles of Etiquette Saint Louis. This portion of the program is designed to make students aware of their professional image, including dress and grooming, networking and their use of technology.

“SIUE is the only University in the area that I’m aware of that requires an etiquette program as part of its schooling,” Broyles said. “This interactive program is truly a gift students are given by the School of Business that will set them apart from their competition.”

The success of students who have completed the program is made evident by an increase in internships garnered, confidence gained and resources utilized, including more participation in international study.

“My first transitions course made me think outside the box when it comes to my professional future,” said Eric Donahoe, SIUE sophomore, majoring in business management. “I learned the value of punctuality and time management, networking and personality combined with business etiquette.”

“I was inspired by the topics covered in the transitions course,” added Morgan Watson, SIUE sophomore, majoring in marketing. “The emphasis on the power of networking stood out to me. It gave me the drive to continue to reach out to current managers and co-workers to start building my network while in college.”

The two courses also require students to write multiple reflection papers about their experiences throughout the program. These papers serve to foster continued growth as students complete their college career and enter their next phase of life.

The Business Transitions Program is the School of Business’ current High Impact Campaign. The School is working to raise $250,000 in the next 18 months for the program. For more information or to contribute, click here.

SIUE’s School of Business and the accountancy programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International,representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review lists SIUE as one of the top 296 business schools in the U.S. for the ninth-consecutive year. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in accounting, computer management and information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. More than 20,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business.  For more information about the School of Business, visit siue.edu/business.

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