University of South Carolina

Business at Moore drawing top talent

By Peggy Binette,, 803-777-7704

David Crockett knows the difference a mentor can make. That’s why the marketing professor has volunteered his time to teach and work with high school students in the Wells Fargo Business at Moore summer program for the past seven years.

Each year the Darla Moore School of Business program attracts 30 of the most talented minority high school students from the Carolinas and Georgia.

Giving back isn’t the only reason Crockett says he participates in the program. He says it also gives him a sneak peek at future talent.

“I have a sense of duty to help underrepresented minority students because others with the same sense of duty were instrumental in my development,” Crockett says. “I also like getting a chance to see young people develop and mature over time. It’s the best part of the job. Business at Moore is like getting a sneak preview of some of the people who will go on to be leaders at USC and eventually in their communities.”

Bianca Young was one of those leaders. Young, who attended the program in 2008 as a rising senior at Columbia’s Ridge View High School, has served as a counselor for the program for two years. “The Business at Moore camp was an eye opener for me. I learned about the school and fell in love with the professors. I knew that this is what I wanted to a part of,” she says. “As a counselor, I’m giving back. I like helping students choose their leadership positions for their presentation teams and helping them discover their strengths and see where they may fit at the Moore School.”

Young, who graduated in May with degrees in human resource management and marketing, will start an internship in event marketing this fall.

Like Young, Laura Guirau attended the program and now serves as a counselor. The rising sophomore from Columbia says it cemented her decision to attend the Moore School.

“The Business at Moore program gave me a deeper understanding of options I would have in the Moore School. It also made me really excited about all the subjects and opportunities for study abroad and internships that I would get the chance to explore while attending USC,” Guirau says.

Crockett, who joined USC’s Moore School after finishing a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Business School in 2002, says Business at Moore has become a draw for top high school talent.

“The draw is the opportunity to engage with one of the nation’s best undergraduate business experiences. Students have the opportunity to bond and compete with similarly outstanding students from the region,” he says.

Bremond Byrd of Simpsonville, S.C., attended this year’s program, which finished in late June. A student at the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, she wants to combine her love of music with a degree in business.

“My goal is to run my own record label or music group one day. I developed my passion for music in my church. I sing classical, musical theater and jazz. I like the sassiness and improv nature of jazz. It’s me,” Byrd says. “I want to bring music into the world in a new way and make sure that my company has a charitable component. The best parts about the Business at Moore camp is that I get to learn about things I’m a little fuzzy about. I’ve learned a lot about entrepreneurship and marketing.”

Byrd was the chief marketing officer for her Business at Moore presentation team whose business idea won the program competition. The team’s concept was for Slumber Sure, a pillow with a built-in timer to wake sleepers via alarm or vibration that would be marketed to college students and the hearing impaired.

Byrd says Business at Moore is a “cool way to see about USC.” She’s also looking at NYU and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Jerry Schexnayder, a rising senior at Scholars Academy in Myrtle Beach, S.C., says USC has been on his radar but he chose to attend the program to learn more about the business school.

“I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn about business because business is applicable to every job and major,” Schexnayder says.

Business at Moore was launched in 2007 as a way of retaining academically talented and high-achieving minority students who are recruited by top colleges nationally.

To date, more than half of the program’s students have attended the University of South Carolina, with 37 percent attending the Moore School.

Crockett, who calls Business at Moore a winning program, says its success is hitting the right balance between hands-on guidance and letting students take ownership.

“Students win through exposure to teaching faculty, dedicated staff and other outstanding minority students. USC wins by doing justice work and by broadening and deepening the pool of outstanding potential students.”

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Posted: 07/11/13 @ 3:30 PM | Updated: 07/12/13 @ 4:01 PM | Permalink