Students in the information technology program at Minnesota School of Business-Blaine attended the MindSurf Conference in Minneapolis on Oct. 11, 2012. The students attended as part of a coordinated effort among Globe University, Minnesota School of Business, and Benchmark Learning.
The conference, which took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center, is billed as “one of Minnesota’s most important gatherings of business and IT professionals for 2012.” The students were able to attend their choice of 28 event sessions, organized along seven tracks: Professional Business Skills, Project Management, Business Analysis, SharePoint for Business Professionals, Microsoft Office, Business Productivity, and Leadership/Management. The conference normally costs $299 to attend, but the students were able to attend for free.
Jim Tincher of Satisfaction Management Systems delivered the keynote address, “From People to Profits: The Business Case for Employee Engagement”. His address demonstrated how engaged employees have made major contributions to corporate profitability, citing interesting case studies at Google and Best Buy, for example. Google employees have 20% of their salaried time dedicated to personal projects that they may work on without needing permission from a supervisor. Projects resulting from these efforts have included Google’s popular email service, GMail.
Prizes were given at the end of the conference, and two of the Blaine students were chosen from the drawing. The students uniformly found the conference to be extremely relevant and valuable to their careers, based on comments during and after the conference. Not only were the sessions highly educational, but networking opportunities with attendees and companies sponsoring exhibits provided great career opportunities for the students.