UBiz Means Business
Students gathered in a lecture hall with notebooks open, ready to take notes on how to succeed in the future of the business world. The room got quiet as Merle Whitehead, CEO and owner of RealtyUSA, began to tell his story of success to the members of UBiz.
The Undergraduate Business Association, better known to its members as UBiz, is a new club on campus that brings together business-oriented students who are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and its derivatives. Carson Ciggia, a sophomore business administration major, founded the club during his freshman year. He explored all of the business clubs on campus and decided that he wanted to start something new.
"I decided to go ahead and start my own organization," Ciggia said. "It was a very bold move but it's turned out successful. It's incredible to think that there are 40 people out here. I mean UBiz started on a piece of paper."
Ciggia aims to educate the members of the club about the real world of business by bringing in experienced speakers to share their stories of success.
"Our meetings are really structured to get members involved and really help them gain some practical knowledge," Ciggia said. "We have internship opportunities with a few different companies like Mutual of Omaha. We're constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to help our members."
Whitehead spoke this past Thursday night. He was one of several speakers that have been brought to UB by UBiz to talk about what success means to him.
Whitehead also talked about some of the mistakes he has made along the way. Coming from a man who is CEO of a company that had $3 billion in sales last year and over 2,300 employees, everyone in attendance was intent to listen to what he had to say in hopes of one day becoming as successful as the CEO, according to Ciggia.
The one line of advice Whitehead stressed throughout his visit was: surrounding oneself with positive and successful people will inadvertently increase someone's chances of being successful.
"I want somebody who is confident but more importantly I want someone who is coachable," Whitehead said, referring to what he was looking for in new employees. "I look at so many people who have come in and we've mentored them, we've coached them, and the success that they've realized is unbelievable. So coachable would be a huge characteristic."
Ciggia and UBiz's e-board have put in a significant amount of effort to engage current club members and to entice new students to join. Bringing in speakers like Whitehead has helped the club gain traction and credibility among young business students looking for ways to meet other business-oriented students.
Ciggia was pleased with the turnout at the seminar. He said the entire crowd was active and intrigued by Whitehead. Ciggia believes everyone left wiser, and they all received some valuable insight. He hopes that hosting events that will educate students about how to succeed will help the club gain popularity and, ultimately, help the members succed in the future of the business world.