Thursday, 22 June 2017 06:00

SCCHS Business Club concludes a busy year

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Premier Brad Wall answers questions from students at the SCCHS Business Club lunch and learn, June 8. Premier Brad Wall answers questions from students at the SCCHS Business Club lunch and learn, June 8.

The Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Business Club concluded a busy year on a high note when they hosted Premier Brad Wall at their final lunch and learn, June 8.

The event was attended by representatives of the six organizations that provided sponsorship and support to the club during the year.
“It was a perfect way to end our year right after our competitions are over and to show appreciation for our sponsors and have Brad as our guest,” SCCHS business education teacher Cindy Lowe said afterwards. “It was definitely a highlight for the year.”
Students made a presentation about the club and their activities during the lunch and learn. They then had a question and answer session with Premier Wall.
They asked him about his education, the jobs he had before entering politics, why he got into politics, the provincial economy, and the development of Saskatchewan’s renewable energy sources.
“They wanted to ask some questions about his career for sure, because some of the stuff we do for lunch and learns is career-related,” Lowe said. “We wanted to ask him economic questions too, because these are business students. They are aware, they’re very savvy, they’re up on current events, they understand trade, and so they wanted to generally know about what he’s doing as a premier and how to fix the economy and jobs for the future. I think it was very enlightening for them in terms of knowledge too.”
The club’s mission is to develop future leaders in the community by exposing students to business, finance, entrepreneurship and debate activities. The 2016-17 school year had been a busy time for the club.
“We attended or hosted four debates, we attended two out-of-town business competitions and we hosted one here in Swift Current at Innovation (Credit Union),” she said. “We have hosted well over 40 events over an eight or nine month period. So, that’s three to four events per month.”
Lowe believes it is important to increase the financial literacy of students and her goal is to provide them with as many learning opportunities as possible through the business club.
“I thrive on that kind of busyness and I can’t sometimes turn down an opportunity,” she said. “So when there’s a chamber event, or there’s a lunch and learn or a speaker e-mailing me, I try to line them up and bring them in, because this is all about the kids and giving them an opportunity to learn about business.”
The club started informally three years ago with six students and became a formal club at the school in 2015 with around 13 members. There are currently 23 members. Grade 12 student Reagan Martin has been a business club member for two years.
“I had an interest in business related things,” he said. “I knew I wanted to go into commerce after I graduate from this year. So I thought maybe I should learn some things before I went in there to give myself a head start. … In terms of learning I’ve learned so many things now that when I’m talking to second or third year commerce students, I’m kind of keeping pace with them. So it’s pretty neat.”
His participation in the business club activities gave him more confidence to speak in public. For example, during the recent case competition in Regina he made a presentation in front of about 100 people, which was a “mind blowing” experience.
“I never thought I’d see myself there,” he said. “I do the assemblies in the school now and I can talk to CEOs of financial institutions, the premier of the province, stuff like that, without getting too nervous anymore and before I was a little nervous, for sure.”
He was a member of the business club’s entrepreneurship team for the competition in Regina. They received a case on how to increase the income of the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
“We just figured out ways to kind of open up new sources of revenue,” he said. “So we came up with a webcam subscription service, kind of like what the WHL has for their hockey games.”
The SCCHS Business Club attended the Saskatchewan Business Teachers’ Association conference at the University of Regina on May 4 and 5 with three teams. Two teams participated in the case competition for finance and one team in entrepreneurship. The club placed second in entrepreneurship, third in the social category and placed third for school of the year out of 12 schools.
The club then travelled to Manitoba to participate in an interprovincial business competition at Brandon University on May 19. The club won third place in finance, fifth place in entrepreneurship and third place for school of the year out of 12 teams.
Lowe felt the club’s success at these two competitions was partly due to the practical preparation that happened at the 1st annual SCCHS case competition, which was held in association with Innovation Credit Union May 3. It was an opportunity for students to get familiar with the format of these competitions.
“We had practise in class with a lot of guidance from myself, but they’d never been thrown in where they have to sit down in a room for three hours, deconstruct and create a presentation,” she said. “So they had to do that at Innovation and present in front of a full room.”
The success of the SCCHS Business Club in such a short period exceeded her expectations, both in terms of student participation and results at competitions.
“I’m passionate about business education and I think the kids can read that compassion and have joined me,” she said.
She is also excited that students have the opportunity to bond and to create friendships around a common interest in business.
“What I love the most is some of these kids have never belonged on a team or weren’t really part of a team or anything before,” she said. “These kids are engaged, they have friends, they have a community, they have a group. I found that in university when I went to business.”
She has many ideas for club activities during the next school year, for example a trip to Calgary for a business competition and perhaps a visit to the WestJet accounting department, and also a visit to the Saskatchewan Legislature. She also hopes to create an awards night for the club.
She expressed appreciation towards the six organizations that provided sponsorship and support for the club’s activities during the past year.
Innovation Credit Union is the club’s main sponsor. Boston Pizza sponsored meals for club events. Bridal Construction sponsored the debate club and business club.
The Swift Current & District Chamber of Commerce invited the club to many chamber events and provided students with free tickets to these events. MNP presented three or four times and sponsored a lunch and learn series, while Nimegeers Carlson Law Firm presented and sponsored lunch and learns.

Read 1742 times Last modified on Thursday, 22 June 2017 09:09
Matthew Liebenberg


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