Meet our new Career Development Coordinator, Helen Tien!
Please welcome Helen Tien. She will be teaching some of our management courses in the fall, and has already started helping students decide on and prepare for their careers with one-on-one counseling and workshops tailored to their needs.
One of CoBE’s main career development initiatives this semester was to promote and give assistance to students who are interested in entrepreneurship. This included both starting businesses and finding opportunities in the local community to work for small-to-medium sized businesses. So for the month of April, CoBE held two entrepreneurship workshops where students heard from local business owners, asked questions, and were able to network during the events. Helen has also arranged two entrepreneurship workshops for our students.
The first workshop on April 20th featured entrepreneurs and professionals in the accounting and finance fields. Gregg Taketa of Taketa, Iwata, Hara, & Associates gave attendees an overall look at foundational principles of entrepreneurship and its relation to the accounting world. Students really enjoyed Gregg’s analysis of oncoming opportunities in both the accounting world and the Hilo community. John Kwee, one of the top financial advisers on the Big Island and now a senior associate at INPAC Wealth Solutions challenged our students with career guiding questions and gave students really great advice on beginning their career in the finance industry. Students also networked with faculty, community members like Judi Mellon from the SBDC and Jason Ueki from Hi Plan, and the speakers after the event.
The second workshop on April 27th featured successful local business owners with brands that students and love, sharing their entrepreneurship journey. Three entrepreneurs were able to discuss the separate paths they took to starting their business, and give our students the inspiration to start small and grow bigger. Kimo from Simply Sisters spoke about their journey to success through the growth of their booth at the beloved Merrie Monarch Festival. Lai Sha from Kumumea gave students a look at how endless hours of work turned her passion project into a popular accessories and a handbag line, and how she achieved her goal of providing comfort to those dealing with cancer. Shadi from Hana Hou gave a guide to the five things a successful retail location must have and how her experience as a serial entrepreneur provided her the knowledge to run many businesses. The room was packed with students, who not only received great information but also some goodies courtesy of our presenters! A big thanks to our student volunteers and Helen Tien, the career development coordinator of CoBE for putting the events together and spreading the word! There was a great student turnout to both events!