APU Business Students Learn From Professionals

by Nina Karim, '11

Throughout the fall semester, APU’s School of Business and Management welcomed four guest speakers to discuss the different challenges and successes they encounter in their careers, how they arrived at their position, and their ongoing journey of faith. The four-part lecture series allowed the APU and local community to draw from leading business professionals as they shared their experiences in the business field.

The series started off with senior marketing manager of Proctor and Gamble, Ron Kelleher. Speaking about the Beatitudes of Business, he gathered quite a crowd at Munson Chapel on September 24.

Kelleher received a B.A. in Business and Economics from Washington State University, and had extensive experience in sales and management, including senior marketing manager for Procter and Gamble.

He spoke about his experiences in the field and the struggles he found himself in while maintaining integrity in the brutal business world. Kelleher is currently secretary for the Board of Directors for Guidelines International Ministries and studying to receive his master’s degree in biblical studies and theology from Talbot University.

The first speaker for October was the internal audit director at Hewlett-Packard, Brad Ames. He spoke twice to students at Wilden Lecture Hall on October 9. Several accounting classes were let out to hear him speak, and his wife and son, a business student at APU, were present in the audience as well.

Ames is a Certified Public Accountant, and a current member of the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Advanced Technology Committee. He spoke of his work in internal auditing for Hewlett-Packard and his current position as an active member of IIA’s Advance Technology Committee (ATC) to research emerging professional practices and compliance trends.

“Brad Ames was an amazing speaker and had many encouraging words on how to live a godly life in corporate America,” said Mary Brooks, junior business administration major. “It was nice to see that your faith can be lived out in such a successful example.”

The next speaker in the series was the former assistant press secretary for President Bush, Reed Dickens. He spoke at Wilden Lecture Hall on October 23. Dickens gathered quite a fan club after the event as students congregated around to ask additional questions about his life and success stories.

Dickens received a B.A. in Public Relations in 2000 and immediately started off his public service on George Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. He spoke about how he became the Former Assistant Press Secretary for President Bush, and continued working for the White House for several years until branching away from politics to open his own public relations firm.

As founder and president of Outside Eyes, a firm specializing in crisis management, his company is an alternative to conventional PR firms and mass media advertising.

“The speaker series this year has really been kicked up a notch from previous years. I have learned so much about business from a practical level,” said senior international business major Joshua Millage. “One of the most memorable moments of this speaker series is when I had the chance to speak to Reed Dickens. Mr. Dickens explained to me how time is the most valuable resource and how in college we are so susceptible to wasting time. That talk has really changed the way I go about my daily activities. I feel like I have become a more productive and efficient student.”

Last but certainly not least, the final speaker in the lecture series was the president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising, Steve McKee. He spoke at the Hall of Champions on West Campus on November 12.

McKee is a columnist for Businessweek.com and president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising, a firm that specializes in helping stalled companies rekindle growth.

“I think our speaker series gives us a much needed insight into the real world of business. We have so much to learn from these professionals,” said Nick Karim, senior business administration major and president of the Scholars for Business Achievement.

The guest speakers this semester proved to be quite a sensation, and the students of APU’s School of Business and Management were able to learn tactics in faith and business. In hearing about how these businessmen achieved success in their careers and maintained their journey of faith was an encouragement for the young business scholars.