This club means business

By Caleb Remington

Business Club Vice President Nicole Foster (right) speaks with Whatcom student Paulo Panazzolo at this quarter's Club Fair. Photo by Caleb Remington
Business Club Vice President Nicole Foster (right) speaks with Whatcom student Paulo Panazzolo at this quarter’s Club Fair. Photo by Caleb Remington

Whatcom Community College’s largest student club is the Business Club, with 56 students in attendance at this year’s first meeting Oct. 9. The club is continuing to grow and receive applications for new members, said the club’s faculty adviser John Fasler.

“We keep having to get bigger rooms for that reason,” said club president Chris Hansen. “There were six new members this quarter.”

Led by faculty advisers Fasler and Dave Evraets, the Business Club meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Syre Student Center room 105.

Whether or not a student is studying business, Fasler said the club invites anyone to sit in on a meeting and listen to one of the various guest speakers coming in to address the club this quarter.

“If you’re alive you’re involved in business, you’re buying and you’re selling every day,” Fasler said.

The speakers this quarter will include a speaker from Wells Fargo, the local franchise owner of Anytime Fitness, and a member of the real-estate company the Muljat Group, among others.

Fasler said that the club has employees of the college come in and talk as well.

“Learning interview skills, getting connected with the local business community, being a part of a student-led business-minded community, and gaining an understanding for the concepts of business are all benefits of being part of the Business Club,” Fasler said.

The club aims to make connections with the local business community, Fasler said. One of the ways they do this is through an annual field trip, with the most recent being a trip to the Alcoa Intalco aluminum smelting plant in Ferndale during fall quarter, he said.

Club members also have the opportunity to take part in an online virtual stock exchange competition, which educates them about stocks and how the stock market works, Fasler added.

Evraets said the club cosponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program alongside Western Washington University.

“The purpose is to prepare tax returns for students and low-income tax payers,” Evraets said. “This is the third year I have been involved in it.”

The students are in charge of staffing this free program, Evraets said, and in order to participate, students must go through training at Western.

“They have to pass an ethics exam plus an advanced tax exam to prepare returns,” Fasler said.

If a student is confused as to how to file and receive a tax return, they can use the VITA program in the Heiner building beginning mid-February, Evraets said.

Hansen said the Business Club prides itself in having a diverse group of members. The business world stretches much further than the United States, making the experiences of business students at Whatcom from around the world an important resource for club members, he said.

“I’ve gotten a better understanding with how businesses work internationally from the international presence in the club,” Hansen said.

This quarter the focus will be onhow to get an interview, how to set up your resume and cover letter, best practices while interviewing, and how to communicate with a company through their H.R. staff,Fasler said.

To get involved students can pick up an application from eitherFasler or Evraets or sit in on one of the club meetings and experience what takes place in the Business Club.

“It provides a great opportunity to excel in the field of business,” said club member Karan Malhotra. “Members learn how to use class knowledge and apply it to the real world.”

The application fee is $30 per academicyear and can be turned into the Cashier’s Office in Laidlaw. This fee includes membership and a club shirt. 

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