Last week, we welcomed the students of the Canon-McMillan School District’s Entrepreneurship Program to ABG Capital. Twice a year, as part of our community outreach efforts, we welcome the class and their teachers to our offices for an educational field trip.
To prepare the students for “real-world” office-life expectations, we started the morning with donuts in the kitchen, then we gathered together for a welcome from ABG Capital’s CEO Jeff Tapolci, VoIP Innovations’ President Dan Ravenstahl, Director of IT Adam Scott, and ABG Capital’s Director of Human Resources Sharon Kolesar.
After a brief introduction of our company’s history, structure and people-focused culture, the students learned about the importance of Strategic Thinking and the 7 Strata, along with Execution Planning and the use of a One Page Plan. The students recently completed a restaurant project in their class. Analyzing demographics to see what types of restaurants consumers in their area would be most likely to patronize, what the menu pricing would look like and how they would differentiate themselves from other, similar local establishments were some of the issues the project had them tackle and resolve.
After a tour of the office, small groups had the chance to meet with members of our staff that work in departments like Development, Marketing, IT, and Accounting. Our team members shared with them how their roles in our company, along with other companies they have worked for, have helped shape their careers and led to new opportunities. Other topics of discussion were growing a business amidst industry changes, recruiting and talent management, finding a career that fits an individual’s interests, preparing for an interview by researching the hiring company’s values, mission and objectives, and the use of social media both in their personal lives and how we use it to market our companies’ products and culture.
The day wrapped up with pizza for lunch and a question and answer session from the students. Our hope is that the class leaves here with a better understanding of what a small family run business can potentially grow into, as well as what it takes to grow a company and help it remain successful. We are looking forward to next semester’s visit where we will greet fresh faces and hopefully inspire another group of future entrepreneurs.