FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County students got a chance to enter the real business world recently during the annual Business Ethics Experience.
More than 60 students from South Forsyth High School and Lambert High School attended this year’s event at The Collection at Forsyth. This is put on by the BB&T Center for Ethical Leadership which is part of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia.
The students rotated between multiple businesses learning about how their stores and restaurants work and going through potential business scenarios.
The businesses that participated include Carta Bella, Mellow Mushroom, Barnes & Noble, The Joint Chiropractic, Aria Salon, Springfree and Jim N Nicks.
Afterward, a panel of Forsyth County Schools officials gave feedback to the students and talked about the choices students made.
Since the event began in 2015, all five county high schools have participated at some point.
This year, Jimmy Lane, executive vice president of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the students about his experiences in the business world and why having character matters.
“What was on my plan when I was your age really hasn’t come to be,” Lane said. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Be flexible, because you never know what’s going to happen in your life or where you’re going to go.”
Before joining the chamber staff in 2009, he toyed with multiple professions including being an Army Ranger, math teacher and going into sales.
His company at the time let him go during the recession, but he said he was lucky because it was then his mentor told him about an opening at the Chamber.
“We’re all going to have scary times or times we aren’t sure what we’re going to do,” Lane said. “We’ll all have dark times and a lot of unknowns. But the way you’re wired and what you believe will help you make good decisions. After graduation, life’s an open book test.”
Character is who you are and why you act that way, Lane said.
“We’re all wired a different way,” Lane said “There are a lot of different character traits, some positive some negative. Positive ones are being thankful, sincere, reliable, honest, polite, thoughtful and patient. Negative ones are arrogant, cruel, stubborn, unreliable, selfish, vulgar and bossy.”
Often, people excuse the traits by saying it’s just how a person is, he said.
“Character is formed and is habit-forming,” Lane said. “Your character is built on your motives of your actions toward others, yourself and the environment around you. Character is a choice. There are only two things in life you can control: your actions and attitude.”