Ada — Stacey Bolin, director of the Wilburn L. Smith Center for Entrepreneurship & Oklahoma Business Week at East Central University, is preparing for the emotional “good kind of tired” she gets during Oklahoma Business Week.
The third annual educational opportunity gets underway June 1-6 at ECU in Ada.
Many of the finest, most innovative and brightest high school students from across several states will learn business, entrepreneurial, marketing and other skill sets to succeed in the highly rewarding, and very competitive business world.
Sponsored in large part by the Chickasaw Nation, OBW welcomed more than 80 students in 2013. This included more than 30 Chickasaw students selected to participate. That overall number will climb as high as 120 this year as the weeklong program is expanded, Bolin said.
The Chickasaw Business and Conference Center on the ECU campus will be the main hub of activity for the week.
Students accepted into the program will select teams, plan a business, promote the business and product, and “pitch” it to community business leaders and ECU professors.
“It is hands-on and full throttle,” Bolin said with a laugh.
Oklahoma Business Week is enjoying a glamorous reputation that fuels student interest to attend and learn, Bolin said. Winning teams are rewarded with prizes, many aimed at assisting their transition into a higher education environment.
Discovering how to get there from here
While business is the theme, there is an equally important objective, Bolin explained.
“The students live on the ECU campus for the week,” she said. “It gives them a chance to make friends and experience what it is like to attend college. Studies have shown when students are given such an opportunity they are more likely to pursue higher education and attend college.”
To complement this opportunity, ECU is bringing in some heavy hitters – most all of them ECU graduates who have climbed the ladder to phenomenal success.