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Beta Gamma Sigma Leadership Forum

APRIL 13, 2009 | Two students from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls were chosen to attend the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) leadership forums in Tampa and in San Antonio.

Since 2001, the BGS Leadership Forum has been bringing together student members from colleges and universities across the country for a chance to improve their leadership skills.

The first forum was attended by senior Joseph Maslow, a business administration major from Forest Lake, Minn., was held in Tampa in late 2008. “It (the forum) was one of my best college experiences,” Maslow said. “I became friends with people from all over the country as well as one from Taiwan,”

Senior Joshua Breyer, a major in economics and finance from Waconia, Minn., participated in the leadership forum that took place in San Antonio in early spring 2009. “ I feel very honored to have been selected to participate in this conference,” Breyer said. “About 21,000 people were inducted into BGS last year, and only 200 individuals had the opportunity of going to the conference. That means a lot to me.”

 Each semester one student from each BGS chapter is offered the opportunity to attend the leadership forum where students take part in various activities. “We did many team-building exercises, we listened to a couple of speakers, and we learned what type of leader we have the potential to be,” Breyer said.

Maslow and Breyer were both inducted into the BGS International Honor Society at UWRF in the spring 2008. To be eligible to join students must be enrolled in business schools with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation, must be junior or senior level, and rank in the upper 10 percent of their class. Maslow recommends those who are invited to join BGS. “It provides a common connection to others in college and in the business world. At the very least, it recognizes your academic success. The forum was one of my greatest college experiences, for that, I will be forever grateful for joining,” he said.

Students are recommended and selected by faculty in the UWRF College of Business and Economics based on academics and campus involvement. Both Maslow and Breyer have demonstrated their willingness to learn to their professors, including Breyer's advisor and interim dean of the CBE Brian Schultz. “Breyer is very inquisitive, and is not afraid to ask questions in class. He is willing to delve deeper into topics, and is conscientious about getting work done in a timely manner,” Schultz said.

Economics Professor John Walker also noted a similar thirst for learning in his former student Maslow. “He is a serious student who is really enthusiastic about learning, and was interested in different economics ideas,” Walker said. “He is a hard worker and has a good work ethic and a good attitude.”

 Learning is a major priority at the BGS Leadership Forum, and the students who attended were able to take lessons at the conference to apply to their lives. “I learned a lot of things about myself that I feel are important aspects of my life; I was never challenged to think in depth and write them down as I was at the forum,” Breyer said. “I learned effective ways of leading many different people. I learned that the compassionate aspect of business is more important than the bottom line. Most importantly I learned how to network with like-minded individuals.”

Advice Maslow offers for future BGS Leadership Forum attendees is to “network with the other students, they will be your colleagues as you enter the world of business. Whether right or not, it could be the difference in getting the job or not,” he said.

Both Maslow and Breyer graduate this spring and have made plans for after graduation. Maslow has made plans to run his family's marina until November 2009. He is then going to pursue real estate and plans on taking advantage of every opportunity placed before him. Breyer said he has currently started a web based business ( ) and hopes to have it running enough to support himself by graduation time, otherwise he would like to pursue something related to financial analysis.



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