Donald School of Business and Junior Achievement find value in collaboration
Leaders at RDC’s Donald School of Business are collaborating with those from Junior Achievement (JA) Southern Alberta to look at opportunities to build awareness around entrepreneurship, for the benefit of RDC students and youth involved with JA.
“This is an important way for the Donald School of Business to connect with a local non-profit group that shares our values,” says Darcy Mykytyshyn, Dean, Donald School of Business. “We’re very pleased to work with JA to deliver practical learning opportunities for students from both our School and schools across central Alberta.”
This fall, students in the Business Administration diploma program who are taking a marketing communications course will be putting their theoretical knowledge to work for JA Southern Alberta. “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to develop a marketing communications plan for JA, as this project will allow students to apply what they have learned by developing practical recommendations for a real organization,” says Dr. Robert Opoku, Business Administration and Commerce Instructor. “Through the project, students will improve their social responsibility and citizenship skills, while also building leadership and communication skills.”
For JA Southern Alberta, this sharing of expertise and resources is a positive opportunity that will help to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in young people across central Alberta. “Our three pillars are to help youth develop financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship skills,” explains Karen Vavrek, Director of Regional Operations with JA Southern Alberta. “We offer seven different programs for students in grades five through 12. On average, approximately 2,000 students participate in JA programs in central Alberta in a given school year.”
The curriculum-aligned programs are offered free of charge, and they are delivered by business volunteers who are trained for their roles working with students. “These local education opportunities really resonate with our work at the Donald School of Business, and collaborating with JA will allow our staff, faculty and students to give back,” Mykytyshyn says.
In addition to the project that the Business Administration diploma students are currently undertaking, future possibilities for students may include volunteerism and other opportunities for practical experience. “This collaboration has the potential to open doors for our students, which is very positive,” says Mykytyshyn.
For JA participants, the opportunity to learn business knowledge is also positive, as Opoku can attest to from his own son’s experience. “My son took the ‘Our Business World’ program when he was in grade five, and he is looking forward to taking any JA programs that will be offered in his middle school,” says Opoku. “I’ve certainly observed that he’s developing a saving mindset, and going through the JA program has also opened his eyes to my role at the Donald School of Business, particularly when it comes to teaching college students about entrepreneurship.”
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