Hoff School of Business students and faculty gathered in the Psalm Center on Oct. 3 to celebrate the beginning of a new year at the annual Dean’s Reception.
“The Dean’s Reception is an opportunity for all the business majors and other students in business classes to come together and have a bit of fun, get to know one another, get to know the professors and get to know the program,” Kelli Gassman, business professor, said.
Students played games at their tables, entered raffles for a grand prize and listened to advice from area business professionals.
Mary Louise VanNatta, CEO of VanNatta Public Relations Inc. in Salem, emphasized the importance of building one’s personal brand.
“It’s worth thinking about what you want your brand to be,” VanNatta said. “When people meet you, they’re not going to know anything about you; they are probably going to make superficial judgments about you, like the way you look or what you wear. You have a job to define your brand.”
VanNatta explained that defining a brand can be inadvertent through what business professionals say and do.
“You are going to need to define your brand by the words you use,” she said. “Today, you define your brand by what you put online. And, of course, you define your brand through your actions. Your actions will define you more than the words you use.”
Corban students have a duty to define their brand through Christ.
“The cross you see in the Corban logo – which has been branded on our hearts – is also your brand,” VanNatta said. “Show everyone that you’ve chosen to identify with your brand through your words and your deeds.”
Using Matthew 5:16 as an example, VanNatta encouraged the students in the room to be good stewards for God.
“Corban students are a light in this often very dark world,” she said. “Don’t let the world define you. Don’t hide your light. You define the culture by making a difference in this world for Jesus Christ.”
The reception made Alex Boyle, an Accounting and Business Management major, want “to be able to be a part of [Corban’s impact on the community] upon graduation.”
After the reception ended, students could talk to potential employers in a tent outside of the Psalm Center.
“This year, we did something different,” Gassman said. “We brought prospective employers, and that’s a great opportunity for students to actually connect and network for internships and jobs.”
Boyle found the networking opportunity beneficial.
“I was following up on an interview with the Aldrich accounting firm,” Boyle said. “The conversations I had with the people in the tents can help me prepare myself, while in school, for my future.”