For some reason that I can no longer remember, I decided to attend a business camp called Washington Business Week. It was held at Central Washington University.

I learned lots of things about myself in that fateful summer between my junior and senior year – I learned I actually liked the world of business and I learned I loved college campuses. I also learned that I couldn’t pass the typing test required if I were to stay on as a secretary at Hanford.

The year I graduated from UW and had my first job, I ran into my Business Week Company Advisor (think camp counselor) and he convinced me to return to Business Week as an adult volunteer.

This turned out to be even more personally impacting than attending as a student. In those first few years as a Company Advisor, I learned so much about management. If you can manage ten teenagers for a solid week, most things at the office will seem tame.

I also met many, many mentors; a few of which I still lean on 16 years later! Some of the best and brightest people in my life came from my involvement in Business Week.

In 2001, I even had the opportunity to take the program to Minsk, Belarus. We taught free enterprise in the communist country. Talk about a life changing event! We touched the lives of 135 students in a country that still has an active KGB.

Why am I writing this post today? Well, Business Week has seen a 15% increase in student enrollment this year. That is great news, to be sure.

But that means they need more volunteers.

Please, consider being a volunteer. You will learn a great deal, make invaluable contacts and have a phenomenal time. Here is an excerpt from a letter sent to me from Business Week:

Stan McNaughton, President/CEO of PEMCO refers to Business Week as a “virtual leadership laboratory” and strongly encourages his team members to volunteer. Jim Hutchinson, a dentist in Olympia has been a volunteer advisor for ten years and describes it as the best week of his year, every year. On top of that the Business Week program is developing our work force and helping prepare our youth to meet the needs of the business community.

To find out more about how to volunteer, visit

You should do it. Seriously.

Shari Storm

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