Students network with local business owners


Megan Cunningham

AACC’s Business Management department hosted a speed networking event on the Arnold campus on Wednesday.

Micah Smith, Reporter

Students looking to make connections or start a business met with local business leaders and AACC business management faculty at a speed networking event on Wednesday.

Teri Kotkiewicz, academic chair of business management, said “speed networking gives the students an opportunity to meet local business leaders to practice their soft skills and greeting each other, presenting a business card, giving a little elevator speech just a few minutes to express themselves, and also to gather ideas from businesspeople.”

Stacy Korbelak, the assistant dean of business economics and entrepreneurial studies said, “really wanted to get [their] business students back together … to remember how to network in person instead of one over zoom.”

The business leaders that attended said they enjoyed the event.

Emily Hufnagel, a mortgage loan officer at Fairway Independent Mortgage, said “the entire thing was awesome. I wish I would have had this stuff when I was a student and in school because it is valuable.”

Others noted the importance of an event like speed networking.

David Butner, a member of the Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE said the event “brings a lot of business leaders, and people like myself with SCORE. … These are tremendous resources for people thinking about starting a business. And I think very highly. It’s a great networking opportunity.”

Students said they attended the event to learn more about networking and to make business connections.

“I got connected with so many people,” Diamond Bruns, a first-year transfer studies student said. “I found a lot of connections with people that I thought can really, really help me out.

Allison White, a first-year entrepreneurship student, said she was able to introduce herself better at the event.

“I never really like introducing myself,” White said. “I got to kind of connect better with, like, the faculty who’s over the department like Stacy [Korbelak] … to really, like, have my face known by them.”

Other students that attended the event said they thought it was helpful.

“I’m young compared to majority of the people here, so seeing the experience that they have in various fields is the biggest thing that I’ve learned,” Sean Greenway, a partner in a gaming cafe called All in One Gaming Generation and second-year business student, said. “I feel like this is very needed because it helps people who are maybe lost in a path that would need help finding out what they want to do.”

Kotkiewicz said she thinks the event “worked out great,” and she plans on hosting another networking event next semester.

Reporter Megan Cunningham contributed to this article.