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Conference trains future leaders, forges CSU ties

June 6, 2011

The 2011 Business Leadership Institute concluded another successful conference April 1 at CSU's College of Business. The two-day event is aimed at academically gifted high school juniors and seniors in Colorado from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Networking within the fieldStudents were given the opportunity to network with businesses and corporations from across the United States.

The 18 students who were selected to participate in this year’s event were given the opportunity to meet business leaders from across the United States, tour businesses and corporations in the Fort Collins, Colo., community where they learned about prospective internship and job opportunities, and earned a leadership certificate upon completion of the program.

Perhaps most importantly, the students were able to experience CSU’s College of Business firsthand through two days of in-depth interaction with the staff, students, and faculty at the top-ranked business school in Colorado.

Combining leadership, real world experience

On day one of the conference, the students took part in leadership workshops presented by CSU professors and participated in a case study competition where they competed against students from area high schools. The case study emphasized ethical decision making using an example from the music industry to draw the students’ attention.  By combining their personal experiences with the leadership lessons learned at the Business Leadership Institute, the students developed creative and comprehensive solutions to real world management issues.

On the second day of the conference, the BLI participants enjoyed on-site visits to the campuses of a few of CSU’s corporate partners. The students were taken on an exclusive tour of the Hewlett-Packard facilities in Fort Collins and the headquarters of FirstBank in Lakewood, Colo., where they learned about how accounting, finance, marketing, management, and information systems all contribute to operating a successful company. 

An exclusive event

The Business Leadership Institute is an exclusive event, and the process of selecting participants is competitive. Students must first be nominated by a counselor or teacher at their school for having shown outstanding maturity and leadership potential.  All students must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing with their high school.

Once the students are selected, the costs of all meals, travel, and lodging over the two-day, overnight conference are covered by CSU’s College of Business and its business partners.

“It’s important that cost considerations don’t prevent these gifted students from participating,” said Jimmy Ellis, recruitment coordinator for the Business Leadership Institute. “Our hope is that after this event, all of these students will have a firm understanding of multiple areas of business, a greater capacity for leadership and ethical decision making, and an increased enthusiasm for pursuing higher education.”

The admissions department was on hand at the conference to share insight into the application process and the various resources CSU has to offer incoming students.  Campus representatives focused on how to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally while making the transition to college life.

'A whole new perspective on CSU'The Business Leadership Institute prepares students for success through leadership and decision-making skills.

The BLI not only prepares students for success by helping them develop leadership and decision making skills, but also forges lasting relationships with future college students.

“I met a lot of new people and now I have a whole new perspective on CSU. I really loved this experience, and it’s something I won’t forget,” said one of the students who successfully completed the program.

Business Leadership Institute

The first Business Leadership Institute was held at CSU in the fall of 2009. The event was such a success that it was hosted again the following spring. Now, the plan is to make the BLI a regular, annual event hosted each fall.

For more information about the Business Leadership Institute, contact Jimmy Ellis.

Contact: Jimmy Ellis