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[BAC] News Release

Page last modified 13:07, 27 Oct 2012 by Rafael_Pulmano





    Posted: October 26, 2012


    First Annual Business Advisory Council Meeting (2012)


    Business Advisory Council Holds First Annual Meeting


    KOLONIA, Pohnpei - The first annual meeting of the reactivated Business Advisory Council (BAC) was held on October 23, 2012, at the Wall Mart Steak House & Bar in Kolonia, Pohnpei.

    It was a gathering of busy people – business owners, managers, directors, supervisors, even CEO's and CFO's. They came by invitation of the College of Micronesia-FSM, whose message to them was clear: “We are here to listen to you.”

    The reactivation of the BAC is an initiative of the Business Administration Division of COM-FSM. The council's purpose is to promote a partnership between local businesses/employers and the college, in line with its goal to establish a services network for community, workforce, and economic development.


    Regrets and Optimism

    On behalf of COM-FSM, President Joseph M. Daisy, Ed.D. apologized to the business community because, he thought, the college has let them down in the past. He said, "We lost our way, we lost our focus, we lost what was important…what our primary mission and goal was supposed to be. And that is providing quality education for our students so that they can be meaningful participants in the political, social, and economic life of the FSM. And when we lost our way, we lost our connection with all of you."

    President Daisy expressed optimism and hopes about the future of the college and that of the FSM as he looked around and noted the presence of very important people of various expertise and discipline, who came to the meeting despite their busy schedules. He said that as the college looks forward to the celebration of it's 20th anniversary in 2013, he wanted to renew COM-FSM's commitment to collaboration and accountability to all, most especially to the students.

    Professor Joseph Felix, Jr., chair of the Business Administration Division, welcomed everyone to the event. "We are here to listen to you. We are here to hear what you have to say. About our programs. About our curriculum. About our students and graduates. And most importantly, about how you think we can improve as a college in addressing the needs of the community... our community," he said.

    Professor Rafael Pulmano then showed a short slide presentation explaining the role of the BAC and the programs offered by the division.


    Inputs from the Business Sector

    During the one-hour consultative forum that followed, business sector representatives took turns in offering suggestions, asking questions, seeking clarifications, expressing their observations and expectations about COM-FSM graduates, and volunteering the various resources and assistance available from their respective organizations that the college can tap into for the benefit of students. Among the examples cited were providing guest lecturers, on-the-job trainings, and internship opportunities, which the division plans to incorporate in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the advisory council members and the college.

    Initial discussions focused on the need of most establishments for accounting graduates and local certified public accountants. Subsequent talks emphasized the importance of requiring students to do practical work before graduating. There were inquiries about the possibility of the college offering evening classes and introducing other programs such as those in the field of retail management and aviation, and suggestions about training students on the use of accounting software packages to better prepare them for work in the real world.

    Failure of some graduates to communicate well during job interviews, as well as their apparent lack of self-confidence and clear sense of purpose, were among the weaknesses observed by many employers. They asked the college to do something about it to help improve the graduates' chances of getting employed.


    Successful Event

    The first annual meeting of the Business Advisory Council was deemed a success, with the following establishments participating and sharing their valuable time and expertise in the historic event: MiCare, FSM Coconut Development Authority, Etscheit’s Enterprises, FSM Development Bank, FSMTC, JICA, CTSI Logistics, Tuna Commission, FSM Petroleoum Corporation, Genesis Island Family Clinic & Pharmacy, Ray & Dors, United Airlines, Bank of FSM, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

    At the closing of the meeting, President Daisy thanked all delegates for coming, and added that his door is always open to them. He invited them to visit and continue to be active participants in the advisory council, because the college will rely on their wisdom and support.

    Also in attendance to lend their support were the Vice President for Instructional Affairs Mariana Ben Dereas and Dean of Academic Programs Karen Simion.

    Representing the business and accounting students from the National Campus were officers of the Young Executives Society (YES!). At one point during the program, they were asked to introduce themselves and speak about their expectations about the college and their aspirations and plans for their future. Most of them said they want to become CPAs, while others want to have careers in business ownership and management.











    Rafael Pulmano

    COM-FSM National Campus

    Ph: (691) 320-2481 Ext. 110

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