By Juan Calvillo
East Los Angeles College students interested in entrepreneurship, law and accounting can attend the Business Administration Fall Business Expo today through Friday.
The Business Department, with the help of the Strong Workforce Program, has created this event with the goal of giving students and community members that attend the competitive edge in each of the disciplines provided.
The Strong Workforce program is focused on funding innovative activities that allow colleges to use the current market conditions to give students a leg up on educational and work related outcomes.
The program has funded events like last spring’s “Small Business Week” where entrepreneurs were given the chance to learn about starting or creating viable small businesses.
The Fall Business Expo will cover three days, with each day focusing in on a specific discipline within the Business department.
Day one, named Law Day, will be focused on the law discipline at ELAC. The project is called the East Los Angeles Community Legal Aid Works or ELAC LAW.
The second day will focus on the Accounting discipline. Jennifer Alvarado, Associate Professor Accounting in Business Administration, said the event is being called “Tax Career Day.”
One of the draws of the day is a chance for students to learn information on becoming an enrolled agent. The third day will be all about the entrepreneurial spirit and creating actualized entrepreneurs at ELAC.
Filemón Samson, law professor in Business Administration, said that the Law disciplines goal is to help students at ELAC get into law-related careers, transfer to higher education in law or get a degree in the discipline.
Samson said that the first panel would cater to students who had an interest in moving on to higher learning within the law discipline.
“The morning session is designed to help students prepare academically for transfer. To learn about the best courses and pathways to a legal career,” Samson said.
Universities with law programs, and law related undergraduate programs, will have representatives at the event with information on their respective schools.
Michael Tran from ELAC’s Transfer Center will also be at the event to answer any transfer related questions for students.
Chapman University will be in attendance and speak about their Plus Program. “The Plus Program is a great opportunity. It’s designed to target freshmen and sophomores in college, which are our students,” Samson said.
He said that the program provides students with a stipend to participate with the program at Chapman.
The second panel is meant to help students discover the multitude of careers that can be followed with a legal education.
Industry professionals will be representing the multiple types of careers that law students can go into.
One such professional is the Chief Executive Officer of The South Central Family Center, Richard Veloz as well as an attorney from the Los Angeles Community College District.
Courtney Powers, law professor in Business Administration, wanted students to really get an idea of the numerous jobs that actually can be obtained while having a law degree.
“There’s many different options other than just being a lawyer in a courtroom. I mean that’s one option, but there are so many ways, different ways you can use a legal education, and that’s really what we want to highlight,” Powers said.
Many of the panelists speaking during the career panel will be on hand between 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will have tables with information for their and many other organizations.
The representatives will be from multiple career paths at the event and will be looking to start the process of giving job and internship opportunities to students.
“We have the mayor’s office coming, we have a few different legal aid organizations, Professor Samson mentioned the FBI. So you know they’re coming because they want to outreach to students,” Powers said.
Samson said that the Business Administration Department is now offering a new degree for transfer. The degree is called the Law Public Policy and Society Associates Arts Degree and it will be a major focus of the event.
This is a new degree that was approved at the end of the spring semester and the fall 2019 semester is the first time it is being offered.
Alvarado said that accounting day will cover the changing technology that is affecting the tax profession, workplace learning experiences, and finally a panel that will include local tax experts.
Alvarado said that this is the first event that they will have for accounting and tax careers. She said that the funding from the Strong Workforce Program has helped create the “Pathway to Enrolled Agent.”
This is a designation that doesn’t need a degree at all. Students are able to start their own businesses, represent clients in front of the IRS, and work on people’s taxes. She said that letting students know about this is really the goal of the day.
“One of the things that we’ve seen is 20 years ago most people filed their tax returns using paper and now most people file them electronically.
“In fact, I can foresee a time when that’s the only way the IRS is going to want to accept those types of tax returns,” said Alvarado.
Despite technology having a huge impact, it’s still the preparer that is the most important part. Alvarado said that giving students who choose to become enrolled agents through the schools program the tools to help clients was a relevant idea.
The final day of the expo will be entirely dedicated to entrepreneurship. Laura E. Ramirez, Professor of Business Administration, said the event’s purpose is to give ELAC students the edge over other business people. She said that to do that she had invited two industry professionals with dynamic backgrounds to have hands on workshops for students.