Despite the pouring rain, the International Institute of Professional Protocol, had a turn out of more than 600 students, who gathered to participate and learn soft business skills. Although the total amount of students who attended far exceeded the original goal of 300 students, the project management team members said they couldn’t express enough how much they wished more students would attend in years to come.
“IIPP is a wonderful opportunity that is given to the students to learn all the skills that they need to be successful in their business career so that they will be refined,” said Tamatoa Capelle, a junior in business management from the Marquesas Islands. “We are being taught all these wonderful values from school, but we as students are missing the polishing and how to present ourselves.”
Presenters, such as Mike L. and Debra Washburn, Bill and Diane Workman, Donna Root, Kathy Carver, Helen Kuoha-torco, and Barbara Barrington Jones, came to share their business experience with students.
“You are learning skills not from a condemning perspective. You’re learning from the business perspective, from people who are actually hiring on a daily basis. I think it’s a great program,” said Project Manager Sery Kone, a junior in finance from the Ivory Coast.
Tevita Tuituu, a junior in supply chain management from Guam, said attending the classes helped prepare him for the business world. “Personally, it has definitely helped me. Sitting in these classes I know that I can go confidently into a room and not have to feel nervous about an interview. They’ve taught me so much about how to present myself, as well as how to dress and how to talk to these certain people that I’m going to be interviewing with.”
Vulcain Yengo, a senior in supply chain management from Congo, was impressed after attending the IIPP classes last year and decided to return again this year. “I was here last year, and I just loved what I saw,” he said. “So I decided to come back this year to have the same experience again. It was good to hear the perspective of different professionals and what they think about the same subject. It was really effective for me.”
Yengo continued, “In school we learn those amazing skills like marketing, accounting, and the subjects are interesting, but sometimes we don’t learn the soft skills that we need in order to be very competitive when we go for a job interview. If you know these things, you are very well prepared.”
As IIPP looks to continue for years to come, organizers said they are excited to improve themselves in as many ways possible. Tuituu shared some of the hopes IIPP has for the future. “Something that we were talking about as just looking ahead and planning ahead was not necessarily making IIPP required, but as something where a teacher could bring their class to attend one of the sessions. That’s something that we thought about. Or if there was some way that we could get them to not have class, I think we could have a good turnout. It just breaks my heart to see that not everyone wants to come and participate cause this is actually something that can really change their lives.”