Ten business-focused student organizations met with students who want to learn about opportunities for business experience across a wide range of media and industries at the Business Organizations Fair on August 30.
The first cycle Minor in business organized its annual meeting Business Organization Fair August 31 at the Student Life Center. The event brought together a multitude of organizations that offer unique business experiences in an effort to complement the university’s offering lack of an official business major.
The 10 clubs represented at the Salon de l’Organisation des Entreprises were: Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPSi), Delta Sigma Pi (PSD), Product area, TAMID Group at VanderbiltVanderbilt Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (VINES), Student Council for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO), Vanderbilt Undergraduate Real Estate Club (VUREC), Vanderbilt Business and Medicine Club (VBAM), Vanderbilt Investment Club (CIV) and Vanderbilt Women in Business (WiB).
Junior Wonder Wei, who was attending the organization fair for the first time, said business-related organizations helped her learn what she would otherwise do through a business major.
“[The] the minor in business is not too big a commitment for me. If it [was] a middle finger, I don’t think I [could manage the larger time commitment]”, Wei said. “For me, these clubs make up for some of the things that both the major and the minor lack.”
On the other hand, sophomore Luke Deutschmann, who is currently a member of the finance club and Product Space, has expressed his desire for Vanderbilt to add a major company to its registry.
“Personally, I think there’s no substitute for a business major because, to me, I feel like academia is very important and I’m a very book-focused person, so not having the campus curriculum to teach me is kinda hard to help me [to] figure out what I want,” Deutschmann said.
Four of the clubs represented allow any student to join (VBAM, WiB, VINES and VUREC) while the others have an application process to join. Deutschmann said the application process can be demanding and exclusive.
“These organizations [are] a wonderful resource, and I think they give you an invaluable experience, probably far better than any degree program,” Deutschmann said. “But the problem with that is that a lot of them are app-based, so your options are also surface-level and limited there unless you can be a part of it.”
Junior Abby Brand, President of AKPsi, discussed how a business fraternity can prepare students interested in the professional world of business without the curriculum of a business degree.
“As long as you find the balance on campus and find ways to learn the ‘hard skills’, you can do [Vanderbilt] a place that still fully educates you as a businessman. I feel, as someone who went through the AKPsi business development programI feel qualified to go and learn more in my next job, and I think it allows me to pursue other things,” Brand said.
Still, Brand said adding a business major would add to the experiential learning that business-focused organizations and professional business experiences offer.
“I don’t think having a major in business wouldn’t hurt at all. I think it’s always good to have really in-depth courses that would help us in the future, but if I’ve learned anything from my friends who have worked, it’s that you learn a lot once you we’re really out there,” Brand said.
Senior Shulamit Horton, President of WiB, explained that WiB has different levels of membership. She said the general membership level allows students to attend the speaker series to hear women share their experiences working in various business-related fields.
“The internal WiB community provides opportunities to enhance leadership skills through committee roles, [by] rejoin[ing] a supportive community of women and [by] Gain[ing] access to a variety of personal and professional development events,” said Horton. “Our speaker series brings together exceptionally successful women in business to share their experiences, journeys and advice with the wider Vanderbilt community.”