By Samantha Hendrix
School of Business Administration Communications
The University of Mississippi’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, a national business fraternity, hosted its first-ever “Connect ‘n’ Sip: Business After Hours” event on Nov. 1 at the Gertrude Ford C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union.
The event kicked off with a networking session for students, local business figures and university
President of the Ole Miss chapter, Erin McNary, a senior general business major from
Lebanon, Illinois, expressed her enthusiasm for the event and its impact on the business students
“Everything turned out so well,” she said. “I am hoping we can make this an annual event. We are always looking to help make each of our members more well-rounded.”
Following the networking session, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions following a panel discussion with university leaders and members of the Oxford business community.
Below is a list of the panelists:
- Sara Lou Burney, UM lecturer of accountancy
- Keith Carter, UM vice chancellor of intercollegiate athletics
- Blake Dubkinski, CEO and co-founder of GenTeal Apparel
- Dean Douglas, former CEO, Syniverse
- Tiffany Hawkins, senior vice president, FCCI Insurance Group
- Allen Kurr, vice president, OLC Economic Development Foundation
- Bill Salzman, vice president, government relations, Nestle Purina Petcare
- Peyton Warrington, associate administrator, Baptist Memorial Hospital
The group discussion was the highlight of the event, as the panelists delved into various crucial topics relevant to the business world. Their discussions covered personal and professional transformations, the ever-evolving business landscape in the post-COVID pandemic era and strategies to develop leadership skills.
Several key points from the conversation revolved around the importance of associating with individuals who contribute to your personal growth. “You are only as effective as the people you surround yourself with,” said Peyton Warrington. “Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the business environment can make embarking on a career seem daunting, but confronting risks with self-assurance is a fundamental component of achieving success.”
The backgrounds and experiences of the panelists offered the audience a varied perspective on essential business topics and the opportunity to hear various viewpoints.
The event promises to remain a vital platform for students and professionals to connect, learn, and thrive in the ever-changing business landscape as Alpha Kappa Psi sets its sights on making this an annual tradition.
Established in 1917, the Ole Miss School of Business Administration has a mission to improve business and society by inspiring students, business and community leaders through advancing business knowledge and capabilities.