2017 Business Leadership Academy Campers

Camp Introduces Business Degrees and Careers to Incoming Freshmen

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted 26 incoming freshman students from Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Missouri and Kansas during the Business Leadership Academy camp held June 4-8. The summer residential program creates an awareness of business career opportunities for Walton  business majors.

The five-day camp introduced retail careers and college life to students. Campers lived in dorms, attended business classes, enjoyed the Health, Physical Education and Recreation facility and found student resources such as Walton’s Business Communication Lab and the University’s Student Support Services.

“The Business Leadership Academy is a great way to help incoming freshmen learn about Walton, its resources and the many opportunities available to them,” said Synetra Hughes, director of student programs for Walton’s Center for Retailing Excellence. “It also teaches them about the many different aspects of retail and business, opening up a myriad of degree and career options for them to explore.”

During the camp, Hormel Foods assigned a case study regarding Hormel mergers to student teams and mentored the teams through the research and presentation phases. The teams researched past acquisitions for Hormel, the costs and benefits.

2017 BLA Sam's Club Tour
2017 BLA Sam’s Club Tour

Campers toured Sam’s Club headquarters in Bentonville and listened to a panel discussion about transitioning from college into the workforce. Students also visited a nearby Coca-Cola office, learning about the history of Coke. The field trip culminated with a tour of the Pleasant Grove Walmart. While there, Hormel employees explained product displays, assortment, placement and retail strategies to the incoming freshmen.

On the last day of program, students presented their case study regarding future mergers for Hormel and attended a Walton student orientation. Ernst & Young, the American Institute of CPAs and the Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Walton  sponsored this year’s camp.