Vanderbilt’s Undergraduate Business Minor hosts annual Business Organization Fair

Ten business-oriented student organizations met students who are interested in learning more about opportunities for business experience in a wide array of mediums and industries at the Business Organization Fair on Aug. 30.

The+Student+Life+Center%2C+as+photographed+on+Mar.+16%2C+2021.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FAlex+Venero%29

Alex Venero

The Student Life Center, as photographed on Mar. 16, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Alex Venero)

Eigen Escario, Staff Writer

The Undergraduate Business Minor hosted its annual Business Organization Fair on Aug. 31 at the Student Life Center. The event featured a multitude of organizations that offer unique business experiences with the goal of supplementing the university’s lack of an official business major.

The 10 clubs that were represented at the Business Organization Fair were: Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi), Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), Product Space, TAMID Group at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (VINES), Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO), Vanderbilt Undergraduate Real Estate Club (VUREC), Vanderbilt Business and Medicine Club (VBAM), Vanderbilt Investment Club (VIC) and Vanderbilt Women in Business (WiB).

Junior Wonder Wei, who attended the organization fair for the first time, said the business-related organizations have helped her learn what she would otherwise through a business major.

“[The] business minor is not too big of a commitment for me. If it [was] a major, I don’t think I [could manage the larger time commitment],” Wei said. “For me, these clubs make up for some of the stuff that both the major and the minor are missing.”

On the other hand, sophomore Luke Deutschmann, who is currently a member of the finance club and Product Space, expressed his desire for Vanderbilt to add a business major to their registry.

“Personally, I think there is no substitute for a business major because, in my eyes, I feel like academia is very important and I am a very book-centric person, so not having the campus curriculum to teach me is a little difficult to help me [to] figure out what I want,” Deutschmann said.

Four of the represented clubs allow any student to join (VBAM, WiB, VINES and VUREC) while the others have an application process to join. Deutschmann said the application process can be demanding and exclusive.

“These organizations [are] a wonderful resource, and I think they give you invaluable experience, probably much better than any curriculum could,” Deutschmann said. “But the problem with that is a lot of them are application-based, so your options are also surface-level and limited there unless you can be a part of it.”

Junior Abby Brand, president of AKPsi, explained how a business fraternity can prepare students interested in the business-professional world without the curriculum of a business degree.

“As long as you find the balance on campus and find ways to get the ‘hard skills,’ you can make [Vanderbilt] a place that still educates you wholly as a business person. I feel, as someone who has gone through the AKPsi business development program, I feel qualified to go learn more in my next job, and I think that it allows me to pursue other things,” Brand said.

Yet, Brand stated that the addition of a business major would add to the experiential learning that business-oriented organizations and professional business experiences offer.

“I do not think having a business major would hurt at all. I think that it’s always great to have the really in-depth classes that would help us in the future, but if I’ve learned anything from my friends that have gone on to jobs, it’s that you learn a lot once you’re actually there,” Brand said.

Senior Shulamit Horton, president of WiB, explained that WiB has different levels of membership. She said the general membership level allows students to attend the speaker series to hear women share their experiences from working in various business-related fields.

“The WiB internal community provides opportunities to improve leadership skills via committee roles, [by] join[ing] a supportive community of women and [by] gain[ing] access to a variety of personal and professional development events,” Horton said. “Our Speaker Series brings in exceptionally successful businesswomen to share their experiences, paths and advice with the broader Vanderbilt community.”