SPARK Conference hopes to inspire students of all majors

Hannah Carroll, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

Berry College’s student enterprises will be hosting their annual SPARK conference on Saturday, Feb. 9.

The conference will allow students to develop and learn skill sets, no matter what their major may be. In the past, business and marketing students were typically targeted as the primary audience and participant of the conference, but now student enterprises would like to invite the entirety of the Berry College student population, according to Marketing Team Lead Laura Combs.

“We wanted to invite any students and show that no matter what your major is, no matter where you work, what level you are, there will be something that you can get out of it that is beneficial,” Combs said.

Though SPARK is centered around entrepreneurship, it is a conference that will allow students to grow professionally, regardless of whether they are planning to be a business entrepreneur or not. The event is geared towards providing participants with the necessary tools to be empowered and to arrive at the destination of their choice, according to Student Director of Enterprise Ben Lord. Valuable skills will be taught that can be applied to any professional setting, including leadership and creative thinking, and students will learn how to execute plans to achieve their goals.

Students will not only learn skills that better themselves and their professional opportunities but also how to contribute to their community. According to Dean of Student Work Rufus Massey, entrepreneurship expands to creating sustainable environments for those who lack resources to cultivate a living for themselves. The conference will, therefore, teach attendees how they can impact many lives throughout the world for the better, no matter their circumstances.

“It’s not pure business, in the traditional sense, and not just pure entrepreneurship, but anybody who can help someone create a skill and fill a need but make it sustainable so that they can create a living from it and it keeps going,” said Massey.

The conference will involve three breakout sessions led by entrepreneurial speakers. The topics covered will consist of: creating a culture of execution, entrepreneurship for non-entrepreneurs and prototyping and customer delivery. Chief Innovation Officer of Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Alex Gonzalez will also be featured as the keynote speaker during lunch.

Berry’s students will also be given the chance to create influential connections to better their future. Many members of Berry’s board of professional advisors for student enterprise will be attending, creating a large networking opportunity for students. Students will also be able to interact with the guest speakers through conversation and an interactive discussion panel, according to Professor of Management Paula Englis.

SPARK is a national student enterprise conference and significant resource easily accessible to all Berry students, and all are encouraged to attend to garner tools useful to preparing their future.

“[The conference] is in your back yard, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?” Englis said.

The event will be held Feb. 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Spruill Ballroom. The fee for the event is $25, however, all level four and five student workers will have their costs covered by Berry if they wish to attend. The registration deadline is Feb. 4 and can be completed at the following link :

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