Let’s get down to business at the business major and minor expo


Mary Mitchell

Faculty members and professional advisers talk to students about future as a business major or minor.

Ethan Fogle, Intern Reporter

Undecided students flooded Gold Rooms B and C of the Oakland Center on Wednesday, Nov. 9, when the School of Business Administration (SBA) hosted its Business Major & Minor Expo.

Faculty and professionals offered advice to undecided students who wanted to know how a business major or minor could help them pursue a career after graduation.

Tyler Helmle, an undecided freshman, was one of the students looking to find his way at the expo. Walking in, Helmle surveyed the room to see what majors and minors piqued his interest.

“I know I want to be in business,” Helmle said. “I’m just not sure what I want to do specifically just yet. I’m hoping by coming here today that I can figure it all out.”

Faculty from the SBA stood at tables labeled with the major or minor they represented.

The first table that Helmle approached was the International Management Minor table. Sticking out his hand, he introduced himself to Frederick Hoffman, coordinator for business minors.

“I like to travel, so I think international management is something I would be interested in,” Helmle said.

Helmle, who is thinking about picking a major outside of the business realm, wanted a business minor to make his diploma more attractive to future employers.

Hoffman told Helmle that he is like a lot of students at OU who want to pursue something they’re truly interested in, but who also want the security that business typically offers.

“We get a lot of nursing students looking at our variety of minors, the reason being that they want to open up their own practice and have an understanding how a business works,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman talked to Helmle for several minutes about the variety of SBA minors that are offered for university students.

After giving his spiel, Hoffman admitted that although he knew a lot about how SBA minors worked, he didn’t know a lot about international management specifically. Hoffman directed Helmle across the room to Janell Townsend, faculty director for SBA.

After patiently waiting in a long line of students who wanted to meet Townsend, Helmle greeted her and expressed that he was interested in international management.

“International business gives people with majors outside of business, like yourself, more opportunity,” Townsend told Helmle.

Townsend went on to explain her personal opinions on the minor and some of the unique opportunities that come with it.

“Since you like to travel, there are opportunities for you to travel to different countries and earn credit for your minor,” Townsend said.

She also mentioned that the minor is open to any student at OU and that the minor requires 16 credits. Proficiency in a foreign language is also highly recommend for the minor.

Faculty weren’t the only people offering advice to students during the expo. Stephanie Holappa, a finance division manager for Allstate Insurance Company, was also there.

“I’m here to inform students,” Holappa said. “Although finance can seem boring, people are thinking of the corporate side when they think that. I became a financial analyst forecaster and planner, and it is more fun than the stereotypes suggest.”

With up-to-date perspectives, something that not all professors can offer, Holappa was one of several professionals in the business field providing opinions and recommendations.

Taylor Jackson was another freshman on the fence about studying business who attended the expo.

“Coming here helped me reinforce what I was leaning to,” Jackson said. “I am leaning toward marketing, and coming here today was informative. The faculty and professionals were very reassuring.”