The Business District Inspires Passion for Business and Lifelong Friendships

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In its inaugural year, The Business District has been highly successful through inspiring student interest in business careers and by creating the friendly atmosphere of a close-knit community.

The Business District is a residential themed community in Kreischer where fifty freshmen and sophomore business or pre-business students live and learn. This residential community was quick to fill up when registration opened last year, and it is expected to do the same for fall 2016.

This themed community’s intent is to:

•  Help students acclimate to the College of Business through mentorships and exclusive opportunities

•  Encourage students to develop lifelong friendships

•  Engage students with a network of academic support

•  Motivate students to communicate with faculty outside the classroom

•  Assist students in exploring business careers 

•  Connect students with alumni and corporate representatives

•  Provide students with learning opportunities and essential business skills not taught in the classroom

Besides encouraging students to participate in College of Business activities, The Business District has additional weekly programming activities that include presentations by employers, student organizations, and university groups. For example, this semester residents visited the Cookie Jar to learn how a small business operates, heard from residential building materials distributor Palmer-Donavin, and learned more about student organizations such as Delta Sigma Pi (Professional Business Fraternity) and the American Marketing Association, the Student Ambassador program, and the BGSU Sales Competition. Future activities include meeting executives from Owens Corning, participating in a leadership workshop at Quicken Loans, and hearing from employers such as Marathon Petroleum, PwC, and Prudential.

Sophomore Jacque Elama, who is specializing in international business, was born in Mvouma, Republic of the Congo, and he graduated from high school in Cleveland.  Elama describes why he chose to live in The Business District.  “Last school year when I was a freshman, I was searching for program that would get me involved, a program that would open doors to my career path, that would connect me to others in my career interest or others who have the same mindset as I do.”

“Another reason I decided to live in the community,” states Elama, “is because it caught my interest in helping me and others get the skills we need to succeed. Living in the community has been a great experience because every day I see students engage in conversation with smiles, and it has been the best living experience because I create great bonds with the rest of the students.” 

Jenna Cline is a freshman business student specializing in marketing. She has high praise for The Business District experience. “Being involved in The Business District, I have been more aware of all the possibilities in the College of Business, which led me to be active in organizations geared towards my major and that benefit my future. It helps a lot living with students who have the same leadership background and enthusiasm in some area of business like I do. What I have learned most is that everyone here at Bowling Green State University is here to help the students succeed.” 

Cline comments that the themed community also helps students lessen the academic stress for each other.  “We work really well as a team in and out of our weekly district meetings. We all are going through the same classes for the most part, so if any of us are struggling, we are able to help each other out and study, making college work less stressful. I knew coming in to school, I wanted to surround myself with a group of individuals who wanted to better themselves with not just an education in class, but opportunities outside of class. The Business District is doing just that!”

Elama’s favorite activity so far was visiting the Cookie Jar. “I really enjoyed gathering at the Cookie Jar store in downtown Bowling Green. We learned how she started her business and what challenges she had to face. This activity was the one I enjoyed most because it gave the community insight into how a small business is run and I learned how the saying ‘do what you love’ is so important because that is what I took away from the speaker.”

Mr. Erik Chiarelott, lecturer in the marketing department, is responsible for coordinating The Business District activities. Resident advisors who assist Chiarelott include Margaret Dorian, Nikki Hurlbut, and Yahshua Freeman.

For more information or to apply to The Business District for fall 2016, contact Susan Kosakowski, recruitment coordinator, at sekosak@bgsu.edu.