The purpose of the Bay Area Retail Leadership Institute (BARC) is to build a vital partnership between SJSU University and the retail industry. In particular, it is the link between SJSU students and the retail industry which is the focus of the Center’s effort. This is important since there is sometimes a discrepancy between the career opportunity realities of the retailing industry and students’ understanding of those opportunities. As a result of the partnership built by the Center, benefits accrue to SJSU, its students, and to companies represented on the BARC Executive Board.
From the BARC Executive Board perspective, the Center is designed to elevate awareness of and knowledge about retailing among students, making retailing a high-profile career destination. Just as importantly, BARC is designed to provide high quality interfacing opportunities between BARC Executive Board partners and SJSU students. This provides Executive Board partners with enhanced access to the best talent that the College of Business and university as a whole can provide. With a highly diverse, multi-ethnic student population of 35,000 on campus, (5,000 in the College of Business), there is also ample opportunity for companies to target key ethnic groups.
From a student perspective, BARC provides opportunities to interface with leaders from retailing and allied industries. These learning, leadership, and professional development encounters offer an experiential learning complement to the classroom experience. The encounters provide essential socialization opportunities, particularly to the many SJSU students who are the first from their families to attend an institution of higher learning. Finally, the encounters created by BARC events provide students with excellent networking opportunities as they begin to build their careers.