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Being a Business Scholar at East Central University enhances the educational growth of students in the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.

Such is the case with Jon Schwake, an accounting student from Sulphur.

Schwake was recently selected for ECU’s exclusive Business Scholars Program for not only his solid academic achievements, but his ability to show leadership skills in a manner of being an extension of the university’s faculty through the Stonecipher School of Business.

“Being an ECU Business Scholar can improve my leadership skills and it will allow me to better serve ECU and the Business School,” said Schwake.

As Business Scholars, skills are developed in being an event volunteer such as assisting with career fairs, professional trips and student/faculty recruiting activities. Additionally, these students are department hosts or hostesses for professionals who visit the programs and for prospective students visiting campus. They also serve as mentors, providing leadership for the Business Leaders Association (BLA) student organization and working with the younger ECU students in the Freshmen Scholars Program.

Students must have at least a 3.50 grade-point average before entering the program and must maintain at least a 3.25 each semester to remain in the program. They must also be active in BLA by attending meetings and holding positions of responsibility. Besides being on campus for two or more years, the business scholars must be able to volunteer for special projects in the School of Business, participate in the Dean’s Leadership Council, be willing to travel during assigned trips and, once they graduate, give back to the program after graduation as Alumni of Business Scholars.

Evidence of Schwake’s leadership skills came when he helped restore the Student Center for the Public Trust at ECU.

“The past president was too busy with other activities and was unable to devote time to the club,” Schwake said. “At the end of the 2016 spring semester, myself and another student volunteered to step into leadership roles. With the help of club advisors, our chapter is well on its way to be a gold star chapter.”

The Student Center for the Public Trust at ECU is Oklahoma’s only student chapter and is a part of a national network of college students who demonstrate a commitment to ethical leadership. Students are provided with opportunities to participate in training sessions, conferences, community service and business ethics competitions. In addition, students are given opportunities to learn about the accounting profession and network with Certified Public Accountants from across the county.

Schwake believes his coursework played a big role in developing better communication skills in which he used in a recent job interview.

“I talked about what I’ve learned in my accounting and other business classes,” said Schwake. “During the entire interview, I used knowledge that I had gained from the Communications in the Workplace Class I took last fall. The communication skills I have gained through my coursework will be the most beneficial in my professional life. The skills I am developing now will help me complete my daily tasks and work efficiently with others.”


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