By Christopher Reynoso
All school instruction has been moved online and as a result, student organizations have had to move activities online as well. One of these organizations, the Business Club, has had to find a creative way to adapt to the shut-down.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many restrictions across the country, but here in Los Angeles, the second largest city and metropolitan area in the United States, those restrictions have been a little more severe.
Even before the pandemic, the Business Club set itself apart from other clubs by being one of the few that met in the afternoon, something faculty adviser Professor Jennifer Alvarado said, “Allows ELAC students who work full-time and attend class in the evening the opportunity to participate in a club,” she said. Alvarado said that prior to the shutdown, club meetings focused on networking between students as well as building workplace, business, leadership and organizational skills.
The club organized events for student members, including a trip to Calfornia State University of Fullerton in April that had to be canceled due to the pandemic and volunteered within the greater ELAC community. It provided manpower to a Veterans Resource Center event last year, as well as to the Business Administration Department’s open house.
Now, however, things are different. The club still holds its meetings on Thursday afternoons, but they do so over the popular online meeting app Zoom. As a result of the restrictions associated with meeting via webcam, its had to change the structure of these meetings, which now consist of the Fall Speaker Series, which brings guest speakers from different school services to lecture club members about different opportunities. The most recent was Randy Lee from ELAC’s Career and Job Services.
The Fall Speaker Series originated last semester as the Spring Speaker Series shortly after spring break.
“We realized we were not going to be on campus,” said Alvarado. “The Spring e-board officers brainstormed possible ways the Business Club could continue to meet… the result of this brainstorm was the Spring Speaker Series.”
Naturally, switching to online has presented a new set of challenges for the club. These include students not being able to join live, having to be off-campus and the lack of face-to-face communications.
“We’re doing great considering the situation we’re in,” Club President Kaitlyn Tang said.
“We’re working with what we’ve got,” said Alvarado. He said even though the pandemic hasn’t made it easy, the club still felt the need to continue meeting. “It is an opportunity for students to connect outside the classroom,” said Alvarado.
Maple Duong, vice president of membership for the club, said that they want to continue to lay the foundation for success for students.
Another vice president for the club, Wendy Chavez, said it is currently hard to make friends, but important to keep the connection available.
It’s not all challenges however, the switch to online has also presented the club with new opportunities.
Aside from the Speaker Series, the club has also been planning a business competition with Loyola Marymount University, something made possible by the fact that there would be no traveling involved. It has even discussed starting a podcast.
“We don’t want to feel limited by our options, even though we’re remote,” Duong said.