We design our programs to fill niches and bridge gaps in the undergraduate business world, from international markets to entrepreneurial endeavors to gender gaps in business. Through the unique intersection of our forty-eight-year legacy, our unparalleled corporate partners, and our status as a student-run non-profit, we drive our mission in a way that no other organization can.
We believe that in order for this forum to be truly comprehensive and meaningful, it must be accessible to undergraduates from every background. We are grateful to our corporate sponsors, whose generosity allows us to cover attendee expenses for all of our Conferences, print and distribute our magazine at no cost to our readers, and launch our Digital Platform, a true manifestation of global access.
The group began publishing the Business Today magazine, a unique, undergraduate-run publication that brought together insights from executives and perspectives on business from undergraduates from schools all over the country. It was the first magazine of its kind.
In our first issue of Spring 1968, the magazine featured columns from William F. Buckley, James Reston (who would later win two Pulitzer Prizes and write for the New York Times), and David Lawrence (who would become governor of Pennsylvania). It soon became clear that students were generating some of the best new and exciting ideas in the country today–particularly with regard to social problems– and that businessmen and women were better equipped to organize, finance, and implement these ideas than any other group in America. The concept of student-business interaction followed as a natural consequence and soon developed into the primary focus of the Business Today student staff’s efforts.
By winter of 1970, the undergraduates involved in Business Today saw that getting students and businesspeople together to talk or work with each other was not a task that could be accomplished by the publication of a magazine alone. To explore new avenues of communication beyond print media, the Foundation for Student Communication began hosting a series of conferences, called the “Business Tomorrow” conferences, that brought together students and executives in a forum where they could interact and exchange ideas. The conference organizers wrote, “A major student-business conference requires more than hotel space and speakers. Most important is knowing what you’re doing –and what results you want.” The goal–both then and today–was (and is) to provide a place where the business leaders of tomorrow could learn from the leaders of today.
Early conferences, held in Washington D.C., had themes like “The University and the Corporation” and “Venturing Towards a Middle Ground,” with participants like Noam Chompsky, Nobel Prize-winning Economist James Tobin, and corporations like Exxon, 3M, Johnson & Johnson, and Alcoa.
With the launch of various regional conferences all around the country, the Business Tomorrow program became the Business Today Conference, with our flagship conference in New York city called the Business Today International Conference. This conference brings together undergraduates from around the world and executives from all over the country.
Today, the magazine has been published for more than 47 years and we have held more than 40 conferences.
We’ve grown in our programming, too – we now two other world-class conferences: our Startup Conference, a co-venture with Sequoia Capital, and our Women in Business Conference.
In 1970, the back cover of our second anniversary issue read, “‘It’ll never get off the ground’ That’s what they told the Wright brothers – and Business Today. We are still growing, still improving. … Our goal – understanding. Will you join us?” That sentiment has carried us through more than forty-seven years of outstanding content and made us the premier undergraduate-run business organization in the country, with an impact on campuses worldwide. With the expansion of our programming to include multiple conference, the magazine (now on iPad and Android), our digital platform, and our on-campus seminars, our mission is as relevant as ever: bridging communication gaps to give the leaders of tomorrow the opportunity to those of today.