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CQTN...All About Business Returns with Focus on Finance, Human Resources, and Entrepreneurship

CareerQuest TN…It’s All About Business, hosted by the First Tennessee Development District on March 4, 2022, provided an opportunity for area high school students to learn first-hand about careers in accounting, banking, financial planning, human resources and marketing.

Students heard from professionals in each field in a classroom setting allowing for more interaction. Professionals shared what a typical day looks like, their pathway to success in their careers and anything else the students wanted to know. In addition, students took part in a practice interview with a HR professional from the region and received immediate feedback, praise and coaching.

The Dress for Success fashion show allowed professionals from a variety of careers across Northeast Tennessee to show what kind of dress is appropriate for their industry or their company. Students learned about dress codes, expectations, and how to put together a professional and inexpensive look for work.

This year's plenary session included a panel of entrepreneurs representing real estate, marketing, market research and retail. The panel shared the good, the bad and the misunderstood about being in business for yourself.

The keystone of the day was the Business Battle, a "shark tank" experience where students pitched their business to area investors. The Business Battle is sponsored by Smarty Pants and Northwest Mutual. The winners of the Business Battle received a cash prize to invest in their business. This year, Tennessee High School senior Lorianne English took first place. Her business, Willow Woodworks, designs and builds handmade coasters, cutting boards and charcuterie boards. These items are as much a work of art as they are functional. Sam Bowers and Dylan McDuffie, second place winners, created Grandpa's Canning Co. as a tribute to the gardening and canning lessons they were taught by their grandparents. Their canning company is designed to provided fruits and vegetables with no harmful chemicals and additives. In third place was Kylar Skelton, who started Gone Global Clothing three years ago to create clothing made of organic cotton with messages of kindness and love for all. Gone Global is a sustainable clothing company with faithful consumers across the country and globe.

CareerQuest TN...It's All About Business would not be possible without the support of donors such as Blackburn, Childers, & Steagall, Bank of Tennessee, Smarty Pants and Daytime Tri Cities

To learn more about CQTN...It's All About Business and other CQTN events, visit

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