Business Clubs Uniting Under ABS
Four years ago, UC Irvine saw the birth of the Alliance of Business Students, the umbrella organization for seven other business clubs on campus: the Accounting Association, the Ad Club, Alpha Kappa Psi, the American Marketing Association, the Latino Business Student Association, Pilipino Americans in Social Studies and the Undergraduate Business Association. Besides nurturing the growth of business on campus, ABS exists to unite the seven main business clubs on campus and to inspire students to gain the experience necessary to be the next leaders of UCI.
According to Treasurer Danny Chammas, as the club continues to grow with the help of adviser Kathryn Van Ness, ABS is “beginning to touch more sides of campus.” The growth of the clubs appears to be due to an increasing interest in business from all disciplines on campus.
Such an impact has brought big changes to UCI. A few years ago, business economics was the closest you could get to business as a major, besides the management and accounting minors. However, during the 2008-2009 academic year, there will be business administration and business information management majors offered by the Paul Merage School of Business. This year’s ABS executive board has an ambitious vision for undergraduates: satisfy the students’ demand for business. And how is this vision progressing? With the help of ABS, business-oriented students have seen dramatic progress at UCI. Despite the lack of an undergraduate school of business, UCI has seen an ever-increasing interest in such a program in recent years.
ABS members attribute this growth to resources on campus and the caliber of students. While this may be true, uniting seven business organizations and outreach to executives in the community and the Paul Merage School of Business is no easy feat. Yet, ABS still manages to maintain and improve these networks and relationships every year.
In order to spread awareness of business activities and the main business clubs, ABS hosts at least one major event each quarter. Fall quarter of 2007 had the Mix-At-Six, at which all the business clubs on campus set up tables lining the Emerald Bay conference room and students roamed from table to table asking about the organizations and networking with business club board members. The board members exuded professionalism while marketing their organizations, as student attendees, whether interested in business or not, wandered about the conference room freely in order to learn about their options.
Recently, ABS hosted its winter quarter event “Executives of the Roundtable.” Several big-name business executives came to speak with interested students. The event was 45 minutes long and each attendee sat at three different tables with a different executive. Amid the sea of business attire, students networked with executives to exchange resumes and business cards, receive motivational advice and inquire about internships.
Most business students join the world of business at UCI by attending ABS events just “to see what [is] out there,” said Monica Chadorchi, president of ABS. If a student asks the board members about how they began their involvement with business on campus, one would realize that these students didn’t instantly become business students. Instead, they grew with the business resources on campus. Each story started with simple curiosity, which led to joining one of the business clubs, and for some, this led to a position in ABS. This is why business is becoming more developed on campus. More curious students have begun to take on more active roles to improve business activity at the undergraduate level.
With ABS’ impressive track record of events on campus, it is easy to see the professionalism of the organization and the way they present themselves. One of the core values of ABS is to help students develop themselves so they can become stronger leaders. As time progresses and business becomes more successful on campus, it’s apparent that the ABS is beginning to fulfill its vision.
If interested in the Alliance of Business Students and their events, look out for their Entertainment and Fashion Event in spring 2008.