Gazebo Gazette

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Leadership will hold its inaugural “Experience Business Casually” event for USM students at all Gulf Coast teaching sites on Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 10:30 am until 1 p.m. The event will be held at the Hardy Hall ballroom on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

Volunteer business professionals from across the Coast will coach student participants on topics such as interviewing strategies; the 60-second elevator pitch; the art of small talk; and others. There will be 15 stations for students to visit.

Students within the School of Leadership will have the opportunity to earn extra credit by visiting at least eight of the stations. A snack will be available for participants as well.

All current COVID-19 protocols will be followed, including social distancing and the use of masks. Sanitizing stations will be available on site as well.

Dr. Heather Annulis, interim director for the School of Leadership, is excited about hosting this first-time event.

“We are partnering with professionals from a broad spectrum of business and industry to provide critical career advice to our students,” noted Annulis. “The tools and career advice offered through this Experience Business Casually event can help jump-start students’ careers and set them up for success in the workplace.”

Amy Yeend, assistant dean of Professional Development and Career Success, has organized a similar program on the Hattiesburg campus for several years.

“Our Hattiesburg events have been incredibly successful,” she stated. “We get lots of positive feedback. I’m happy to help bring this program to our Gulf Coast students.”

Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, which has sponsored the Hattiesburg events for several years, is also sponsoring this effort on the Gulf Park campus. Annulis stated, “We are grateful to Southern Farm Bureau and our dedicated industry volunteers for making this event a success. We hope it’s the first of many.”

To learn more about programs offered by the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Leadership, visit