Data points to success for new Albion College business camp

Camp focused on leadership development and a hands-on introduction to data analysis.

August 28, 2023

Nothing’s ever perfect – but some glitches are better than others.

“We did need to turn down some last minute requests for registrations,” said Economics and Management Professor Connie O’Brien of Albion’s first business camp. “Next year we will find one extra counselor to cover the last minute requests.”

For the 10 lucky high school students who did get in, the first-ever Business Leadership Camp was a success. The camp focused on leadership development and sponsored a hands-on introduction to data analysis for campers from Chicago and central and west Michigan.

The camp was sponsored by Albion’s Economics and Management department and directed by O’Brien, who had worked with a similar program at Mankato State University.

“As I got to know our program and my colleagues here, I thought it would be good for us to host a similar high school summer camp,” said O’Brien, who joined Albion’s faculty in 2022 as an accounting professor. “The camp provides students with the opportunity to see a college campus and what our program has to offer. Along with these, we provided them with life skills that would benefit them throughout their future.”

The camp focused on two important topics for 21st-century business success: leadership development and data analysis. O’Brien, Gerstacker Institute Director Roy Mathews and guest presenters discussed ethical decision-making, effective communication skills and group dynamics and engaged the students in team-building activities.

A camp highlight was provided by guest coaches from Ernst & Young, who supplied anonymous data for analysis and taught the students how to use industry software for the project.

“Each team of students used the data to evaluate how to improve company performance, then presented their findings to the rest of the group,” said O’Brien. “The project and experience was a great introduction to professional presentations and to the field many of them want to study in college.”

For her part, O’Brien said she is pleased with a job well done – and looking forward to next year’s camp.

“Students want to be good leaders. This camp provided them the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and gain first-hand knowledge of the high quality education offered at Albion,” she said. “I am looking forward to next year’s camp.”