University of Alberta student-led club providing business knowledge to high school students

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A group of business students at the University of Alberta are trying to fill the gaps in high school level business education through a new student-led club.

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NXT-GEN launched in February 2021 and currently has about 27 members. The club’s president and founder, Colin Tran, said they have been to about eight Edmonton schools and around 50 students have come through their programming.

Tran, a second-year U of A student and first-year in the school of business, said there is a need to increase the level of business education taught in high school.

“I think the remarkable thing that I’ve seen going through high school in Edmonton, and looking at my peers and those around me that have gone through high school, is that there is a profound lack of financial education and a profound lack of business education,” said Tran.

“Giving students an opportunity to before they enter the workforce to actually understand how money works, how the world of business works and how they can drive value in any industry because I do believe that understanding of how this side of the world works is extremely essential to being a solid worker, entrepreneur, leader.”

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Tran said the club typically reaches students through in-class promotional presentations, or with promotional materials posted around high schools.

The club brings business learning opportunities to students through workshops, case competitions and even Dragons’ Den-style presentations, said Tran.

A case competition is where students are given a situation to analyze, said Tran. They would be given documents detailing things about a business and some issues it is facing and the students would have to come up with recommendations to address the problems.

Tran said a few participants have already applied to the business faculty at the U of A. The student-built group was founded during the pandemic and the members have gotten a lot of experience running online programs and meetings, however, Tran said he’s looking forward to being able to hold activities in person.

“We’re an organization built by students for students to really try and bring that experience that we’re now starting to get as part of being in the school of business in a distilled form for high school students and really try to open doors,” said Tran.

Anyone wanting more information about NXT-GEN can reach out to the club at nxtgen@ualberta.ca or visit the website at www.nxt-gen.biz .

ktaniguchi@postmedia.com

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