Students guide entrepreneurs at customer service workshop

FREDERICTON – At NBCC, learning can take many different forms. Sometimes, learning comes from teaching.

The Business Administration: Marketing class at NBCC’s Fredericton Campus were teachers for an afternoon when they hosted business owners from around the province for a customer service workshop. Students shared the lessons they’ve learned in class with entrepreneurs seeking solutions to their individual challenges.

“It’s great to see the students and entrepreneurs having really engaged, intense discussions,” said instructor Tracy Reese, who developed the workshop as a class project for her students.

To line up entrepreneurs for the workshop, Reese enlisted the help of Clarissa Harris-LeBreton, coordinator of NBCC’s OASIS mentoring program for businesses. The OASIS program helps new entrepreneurs access the knowledge and expertise of established businesses, and for Harris-LeBreton, the workshop was a natural extension of the services OASIS offers its clients.

“This is one more piece of value we can give our clients,” said Harris-LeBreton. “Small business owners, for the most part, have very limited time and resources for professional development, so we try to provide them with the opportunity to access free or cost-effective tools that can help them grow their businesses.”

The workshop was held at Fredericton’s Planet Hatch, a co-working space that supports start-up entrepreneurs in the region. Holding the workshop at a location away from Campus was important to Reese, who wanted the event to have a professional feel so students could have the most realistic “on the job” experience as possible.

“This is a great networking opportunity for the students as well,” she said.

The success of the workshop was measured with a feedback form provided to each participating business. From materials to skillset, the workshop was overwhelmingly rated highly by participants who felt they had gained tangible benefit from the event.


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