Olivet Nazarene University hosted the Lucky Connections Business Afterhours Networking Event on Thursday, March 16 in Reed Hall of Science in order to connect Olivet students and others in the Kankakee area to different businesses in the community.
This event focused on bringing in representatives from around the community and allowing them to speak and reach out to students by providing information on different aspects of the community business world. There was a featured panel of representatives from businesses in the area who talked about what being a leader means in the business community as well as what their part in the community was. Those who attended the event were able to speak to the panelists before and after the panel and ask how they would be able to get more involved in the community.
The event featured speakers including Sarai Guerrero, who serves as the Sophomore Class President, Kaleb Miller, who serves as the Student Body President, a high school senior, and professionals from different businesses in Kankakee County. The planning of this event has been ongoing since last semester.
“The purpose of the event was to bring the campus and community together and allow new relationships to be formed and to bridge the gap between the campus and the community and really go along with Dr. Bowling’s initiative of bringing the campus and the community together,” Hayden Keifer, an account executive of the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce and one of the event’s hosts, said.
“For me, leadership is defined by not necessarily being in the speaking role or the big face of the project you’re working on,” Julie Hogan, one of those involved with hosting the event, said. “I think it’s more of doing the dirty work and doing what you are telling other people to do so they can see that you are really in it.”
Leadership was a theme that occurred throughout the event which offered those in attendance an insight into what business professionals might be looking for in the professional world.
“To me, leadership is definitely being able to be flexible and really, as a leader, you’re not going to be in the same role every day,” Keifer said. “I’ve realized that learning to also not just be ‘all-for-me’ but learning to rely on my team. They really step up to the plate and do a fantastic job and have just blown me away this semester.”
The Lucky Connections event was centered around the public relations aspect of Olivet’s campus in building relationships with those around the community and offering students on campus the opportunity to begin building potential relationships with those in the represented businesses from Kankakee county.
— Hannah Craig, Staff Writer and Carlie Parpart, Photographer