NORMAL — An upcoming annual business series at Illinois State University aims to give students an edge as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Business Week 2013, sponsored by the school’s College of Business, will kick off Friday and continue through March 28. The public is invited to a portion of the programs, including a keynote speech on March 27.

“Business Week provides students an opportunity to brush up on their professional skills and allows them to network with professionals and alumni,” said Christina Bender, a senior ISU marketing student and event organizer. “It really helps.”

The five-day series will include a professional development and etiquette dinner, a session on work attire and seminars on transitioning from college to the workforce.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Stuart Schuette, chief operating officer of Rosemont-based US Foods and an ISU alumni. Schuette will give a keynote entitled “Creating Differentiation in a Competi-tive World,” at 3:30 p.m. March 27at Braden Audito-rium. A reception will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the Bone Student Center.

Students also will visit the Archer Daniels Midland’s corporate headquarters in Decatur and participate in a business competition on Saturday that will challenge student groups to come up with solutions for key issues facing companies.

“They will learn about sustainability and how that is handled in the business world today,” said Steve Vandiver, director of marketing for the school’s College of Business. “It will show them how companies take responsibility and make the world a safer place and better for the environment.”

Vandiver said the student-run series also provides the 24 students who organized the event with leadership skills that will help them later in their professional careers.

Seven senior level executives will also be inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame during an event March 28. The inductees are: Steve Hagge, president and CEO of AptarGroup; William Hallinan, co-owner, president and CEO of Cryogenic Industries; Karen Jensen of Farnsworth Group; Mike Kasaba, chairman and CEO of Artisan Vehicle Sys-tems; Duane Miller, retired CEO of Country Financial and Erick Miner, president and CEO of CIT Group. This year’s Hall of Fame Service Award inductee is Barbara Baurer, chief operating officer for Country Financial.

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