The Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center is offering its first Arts & Sciences Business Bootcamp program May 13-17 in Washington, D.C. The program will allow undergraduates majoring in the arts and sciences to learn about business principles, including marketing, finance, accounting, and communication strategies in a one-week course.
David Lapinski, Senior Associate Director at the Career Center, is leading the program and said that the Career Center’s advisory board was interested in making arts and science students more conscious of career-related opportunities, as well as in exposing them to career paths they may not have considered.
“We are constantly talking about what we can do to engage our arts and science students more, and one of the things that we hear … is that they’re not necessarily aware of the different types of opportunities that are out there,” Lapinski said.
To address this issue, Lapinski and his team researched about ten other universities’ similar business-immersion programs and put together their own version, calling it Business Bootcamp.
During the five-day program, 20 accepted students will participate in lecture courses and case projects in corporate locations in the Washington, D.C. area. Alumni who are currently working in corporations, including Google, Booze-Allan Hamilton, the Federal Reserve and Colgate-Palmolive, will work with the participants throughout the program.
Josh Newfield ’96, Operations Manager of Washington Open MRI, Inc. in Washington, D.C., is helping to lead the program and said he hopes the alumni support will allow students to forge important connections.
“One of the reasons to go to a good quality school is the good network you have … It’s great to see that William and Mary ‘community,’ that buzzword, really come together,” Newfield said. “There’s more alums involved than I certainly thought at first. The overriding point there is that when more people are given the opportunity to help, everyone seems to want to do it and to be involved, so I think that’s great.”
Jeremy Benedict ’97, Chief Executive Officer at Guided Surgery Solutions, LLC, another program leader, said he hopes that the Bootcamp can continue to reach out to alumni.
“It’s a great way for them to give back and just really engage face-to-face with students,” Benedict said.
Lapinski added that one of the program’s main aims is to allow students to add basic business knowledge to any topic in the arts or sciences that they may be studying at the College.
“One of the things we all agree on this is that it wasn’t necessarily designed to take an arts and science student and make them a business student,” Lapinski said. “It could be someone who says, ‘I’m pre-med,’ like Jeremy [Benedict] was, ‘and I want to have my own doctor’s office one day, and because of that, I’d like to be able to understand business principles.”’
Chase Jordan ’15, a government major and future program participant, said the idea of adding business skills to his repertoire was what drew him to apply to the program.
“I think that being knowledgeable about business and being able to combine those skills with my other interests will be really advantageous in any job,” Jordan said.
Participants will stay in a hotel outside Washington, D.C. throughout the program. The Bootcamp’s cost is $500 which covers hotel stay as well as most food costs.