Seidman College of Business shares alumni insights through speeches

Shiloh Reynolds

According to a 2017 report by Jeffrey Selingo at the Washington Post, business is currently the most popular major for college students in the United States. In fact, every year, almost 20 percent of all degrees given out by higher education institutions are in a business-related field, such as economics, finance or accounting. 

In the Fall 2018 semester at Grand Valley State University, 4,090 undergraduate students and 273 graduate students were enrolled in the Seidman College of Business, proving the statistics true.

On Monday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m., these students, as well as non-business majoring students interested in business, are invited to attend the ERP Speaker Series located in the Forum L. William Seidman Center. 

This event, which takes place twice per semester, is put on by GVSU’s Career Center, the Seidman ERP Program and the Enterprise System Student Union (ESSU). In the past, speakers have included businesspeople from Steelcase, Marathon, Spectrum Health and Stryker Inc. In addition, many speakers are alumni of the Seidman College of Business. 

This year, the main speaker is Tim Emelander, who graduated from GVSU in 2013 and now works at Priority Health as a project management and business analyst specialist.

ESSU President Abby Matheson has been involved with the program for three years. She was eager to join after finding the atmosphere of the group to be supportive. 

She noted that her involvement with ESSU has helped her to grow her resume and land an internship in the summer of 2018 at The Dow Chemical Company, where she worked on creating a Robotic Process Automation analytic bot.  As president, she said that she now helps organize the ERP Speaker Series, as well as other business-related programs.

“The ESSU and ERP programs go hand in hand when it comes to connecting students with people in the industry,” Matheson said. “(Faculty advisor Meagan Lutten-Knoll) or the ESSU president will reach out to various companies to see who is available to speak, then we promote the event through our email updates and encourage management professors to tell their students about it.”

Matheson believes that it is crucial for students interested in business to hear from professionals in the field because it allows them to gain exposure to a variety of career paths.

“I think that it’s very important for students to have the opportunity to connect with business professionals in a comfortable setting like the ERP Speaker Series,” Matheson said. “Our hope as an organization is to give students the tools to be able to build their personal network with students and industry professionals, get an internship and then a full-time position by the time they graduate. Every event we host is in hope that we can give students exposure to different career paths in hopes that it will help them find their own.”