JA JobSpark Business and Finance Cluster Opinion Editorial

About the Business and Finance Cluster

Today’s eighth graders have more options available to them than any previous generation.  When we consider the number of ways to consume information, the available activities to participate in and the menu of entertainment options; the variety of choices available makes it possible for each student to choose a career path and pursue their dreams.

The Business and Finance cluster plays an important role of introducing eighth graders to jobs of value across all industries.  If you walk into an insurance agency, accounting firm, manufacturing plant, tech developer or real estate company you will find a consistent theme within each organization.  While the goods and services each company produces may vary, the one constant are the jobs required to make the respective organization successful.  Organizations in every industry need qualified people in accounting, legal, marketing, sales and operations, who possess the skills necessary to execute the mission of the business.

The Business and Finance Cluster represents a broad range of industries, including: banking, accounting, staffing, marketing, pharmaceutical, real estate and education among others.  Although we come from different industries, we speak the same language when it comes to delivering a meaningful experience for the students attending JA JobSpark.  That shared language and desire to empower young people to own their future success is a product of our combined experiences in finance, operations, sales and marketing and our passion for preparing our future workforce while inspiring students to reach their potential.

As we prepare for the event, the purpose of the Business and Finance Cluster is to expose these young minds to an abundant world.  A world where there are no limitations, where anything can be accomplished and the possibilities are endless.  We are grateful to Junior Achievement of Central Indiana for the opportunity to spark interests, open minds and help guide future leaders toward fulfilling and prosperous careers.

About our Members

The Business and Finance Cluster is a diverse group, each member brings unique experiences and interesting stories to tell.  These talented individuals have chosen to volunteer their time to make a positive impact on students and increase the impact of JA JobSpark.  Learn more about our members and their passion for JA JobSpark.

Why did you want to be a part of JA JobSpark?  “To create a better future, we have to give our future, the children of the Indianapolis, opportunities to discover their interest, feed that interest and excel in their interest. JA JobSpark gives me the opportunity to enable that discovery and help those children build a better future for themselves and society.” Stephen Hopkins, Sr. Associate- Base Support/Audit and Controls at Eli Lilly and Company

What impact can you see JA JobSpark having on the next generation?  “I think research has shown time and again that education and one’s ability to contribute to society are some of the biggest drivers of economic well-being. If JA JobSpark can even open the eyes of a fraction of the students who attend to propel them into careers (vs. jobs) that they never would have considered prior, then it will strengthen our future society.” Kathryn Allen, Sr. Analyst, Investor Relations at Eli Lilly and Company

How do you think JA JobSpark and your interactions with students will impact the future of your industry?  “Many students don’t think of the various aspects of business or how a business degree/career impacts the world.  Many don’t think of “the mall” in the true sense of a business career – e.g., management or marketing degree.  Many don’t think of accounting/an accountant as having an impact or aspect to the cereal they eat in the morning.  I think the business cluster helps bring some “fun” and interest into the business sector and shows the kids accounting is not just boring number crunching.” Kate Kuhn, CFSA, FLMI, Sr. Mortgage Production Analyst at American United Life Insurance Company

For more information about JA JobSpark, please go to www.jajobspark.org.

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