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Focused Fridays: Year in Review

August  2018

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Focused Fridays: Year in Review
Left to right: Dean Fitzipatrick, Steve Starks,
Dave Patel (moderator), and Clark Whitworth

In its second year, Focused Fridays featured 153 events across 24 Fridays introducing students to incredible opportunities including forums with leaders from across the United States, workshops by professionals from globally-renowned institutions, and networking events.

Focused Fridays began in Fall 2016, as another resource for students to prepare for professional success. This year, efforts were multiplied to provide students with incredible internship and career opportunities.

We began the year with a kick-off by executives from the Larry H. Miller Group. Presidents Steve Starks (Utah Jazz) and Dean Fitzpatrick (Miller Automotive), alongside CEO Clark Whitworth, spoke to Huntsman students about the power of leadership. Whitworth spoke powerful words to the students about ethical leadership: “If you compromise your integrity, you are not going to rise up. You’ve got to have integrity.”

“I was in awe that all these cool people were at my school, chatting with us and encouraging us. They were just real!” said Anna Kremnev, a sophomore studying MIS, of the Larry H. Miller forum.

Other incredible companies featured at Focused Fridays this year include Malouf, HireVue, Deloitte, and Netflix. Huntsman students certainly had opportunities to hear from the best and brightest.

Art of DiningFocused Fridays also provide workshops to improve students’ skills in interviewing, resume writing, and networking. One of the most popular workshops featured Candace Smith, a master teacher of etiquette and professional development. Smith travels across the nation teaching students how to dress cleanly, speak clearly, and dine professionally. Smith taught Huntsman students how to behave during a business luncheon over a four-course meal.

Scott Wilcox, a senior studying finance and statistics, called the event “the most rewarding on-campus experience”he ever attended. “A week after attending Candace’s workshop, I interviewed with J.P. Morgan in New York. Part of the interview included a luncheon with managing directors of the company. My director complemented me on my etiquette at the table, saying that most students don’t know how to dine in a professional manner. Less than a week later, I was offered the internship, thanks to Candace’s workshop.”

Student CompetitionFocused Friday activities also included student competitions hosted by companies throughout Utah to give students a hands-on experience in case study and presentation. One such competition included the MarketStar-Pinterest marketing competition. Several leaders from MarketStar, including COO Keith Titus and VP Todd Hardy, accompanied by managers Brian VanVilet, Lori Aston, and Head of Sales Matt Bauman, from Pinterest, led a student case competition. The case competition required students to present a plan for MarketStar to implement Pinterest into a business.

“It was actually surprisingly thrilling doing research and being able to pitch to actual Pinterest employees. I learned so much from the case and from the other members of the team. When we were finished I just remember asking when the next competition was”, remarked Lincoln Archibald, a senior studying finance and marketing. Archibald’s team won the competition.

Focused Fridays is a unique initiative at the Huntsman School, helping students develop an advantage in competing professionally upon graduation. More information

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