Thanks to Business Night—an annual tradition for more than 50 years at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business—student Wai Sam Lao and Central Pacific Bank President and Chief Banking Officer Lance Mizumoto had an opportunity to connect. During this event, UH business students are matched one-to-one with business professionals.

Central Pacific Bank President and Chief Banking Officer Lance Mizumoto and Shidler College of Business student Wai Sam Lao at Business Night.

“I was a student at UH back in the ’80s and so I thought it was one way of giving back to the college,” said Mizumoto.

“I’m humbled by the experience to meet with this business leader and community leader of Hawaiʻi.” added Lao.

Sixty-five local companies participated in the 2015 Business Night event, including title sponsor First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi. Every year, the event gives students a chance to learn about various business careers, internships and job opportunities while possibly forming life long mentorships and business partnerships.

“We are really interested in providing our students with internships and job opportunities and the best way for that to happen is if they get to know people in the business community,” said UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business Dean Vance Roley. “Our business community, mostly alumni, are more than happy to help our students succeed.”

With the support of Shidler alumni, industry organizations and the Hawaiʻi business community, $47,500 in awards were presented to top business undergraduate and graduate students at this year’s event. Shidler College of Business is a professional school offering a wide variety of degree, certificate and executive programs, and has long been recognized for its Asia-Pacific focus. Events like Business Night offers the college’s students a unique learning opportunity.

“It was inspiring to see how the small decisions that you make can go a long way. And they gave us so much advice,” said Lao

Mizumoto’s advice to Lau, “I think it is important to establish your credibility early on because then you establish trust in others. And when they trust you, then they trust your judgement, they trust your decisions and then they trust what you will do when you make a decision.”