Four students from Iowa Lakes Community College will participate in this year’s Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute. This is the ninth year for the institute and the eighth time students from Iowa Lakes have participated in the August event.
Students include: Brandi Alexander from Buffalo, New York, who is majoring in Substance Abuse Counseling and is expecting to graduate in the spring of 2015. Also expecting to graduate in the spring of 2015 with a major of Business Administration and Management is Tony Davis from Estherville. Carissa Anderson of Hawarden is looking to graduate in 2017 from the Estherville campus with an Accounting Specialist Degree. Austin Sweeney from Sutherland, who majored in Construction Technology, graduated this spring.
The conference will be held at the Iowa Great Lakes from August 4 - 9. Participants attend educational seminars on entrepreneurship and work in teams to complete a computer simulation to start a company. Attendees also have a chance to network with some of Northwest Iowa’s finest entrepreneurs as well as earn three college credits.
All of the students agreed that participating in the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute is a wise decision as they could expand their circles and meet new people who share the same endeavors in business as they do.
“I hope to learn, and see what it takes to become a successful businessman. Also, I hope to meet people and have connections in the area that may be helpful to me later on in life,” said Tony.
Brandi aspires to gain information and skills that she can apply into her field of study. She also said, “My academic advisor (Amy Vermulm) recommended me to the program.”
It was a former student, and former participant, Nate Samp, who attended last year’s Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute who convinced Austin to go, “Nate spoke highly of OEI and recommended I sign up for it.”
Carissa is excited to “know more people who (are) successful in my field of study and the stories about their successes.”
Tony Davis was prompted to participate in this year’s OEI because, “I just thought that this would be an amazing opportunity to further my understanding, and to see what it takes to run and operate a successful business.”
The Okoboji Institute is a cooperative effort of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, as well as the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, Iowa Lakeside Lab, Buena Vista University, and Iowa Lakes Community College.