School of Business and Economics

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FinanceU Is Most Exceptional!

Posted by Laura Bucci under Events, Student Organizations, Undergrad Information

At the 20th Annual Student Leadership Awards on Friday, April 18, FinanceU received the honor of Exceptional Program of the Year.  FinanceU, an event in financial literacy put on by the School of Business and Economics’ Finance Club on November 20, owes some of its success to its partnership with Michigan Tech’s Office of Financial Aid and Wells Fargo Bank.

FinanceU’s mission is to foster a greater sense of financial literacy among all students, regardless of major.  Topics discussed at this year’s event included financial aid opportunities, how to manage one’s personal finances, starting and continuously funding a substantial retirement plan, and provided students with online tools to help manage all of these aspects.  Financial Aid Advisor, Cindy Cowell, and Wells Fargo Store Manager, Ellie Freeman, were on hand to answer questions from audience members, but the main focus of the event was for students to present information to other students, since research shows that individuals are better able to understand a message when it is delivered by a peer.

This second consecutive FinanceU event held at its roots the same message as last year’s activity; Michigan Tech students were given the knowledge and power needed to enable them to begin making sound financial decisions before even graduating from college.  Similar to the previous year’s event, a survey was administered to participants, asking them to rate their knowledge of budgeting.  This year’s FinanceU event was so successful that the number of participants doubled, with over 200 students completing the surveys.

Brett Ludwig, 2013/2014 President of the Finance Club was extremely proud of FinanceU’s accomplishments.  ”With this year being the second time FinanceU has put on the event,” Ludwig remarked, “we were hoping that it would be bigger and better than last year.  Mission accomplished.  With Donzel Dixson [Finance Club member] on the bullhorn outside, the flow of students coming to the booth as well as Finance Club members going throughout the library to ask people questions were astounding.  We’re excited to host more events in the future.”  Ludwig will be graduating in a few weeks, but will leave the Finance Club in the capable hands of Heath Johnson, 2014/2015 President.

Marketing Student Shines at 2014 UPISRC

Posted by Carly Harrington under Announcements, Events, Majors, Marketing, Student Spotlight

MTU and NMU combine for the 2014 UPISRC to showcase undergraduate student research.

The 2014 Upper Peninsula Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference (UPISRC) was organized to showcase and publicize the research being done by local students in human and behavioral sciences. This event was developed to organize a conference involving student research in: psychology, human factors, education, human effectiveness, human-centered design, social science, kinesiology, and other related fields. This year 30 students submitted abstracts, and many of the authors presented on their research at the conference for the first time. Presenters came from several departments across both MTU and NMU.

Each student gave an oral presentation for fifteen minutes in addition to a poster presentation on their research topic. The School of Business and Economics had one student participate in the UPISRC. Haley Florinki is a senior Marketing major and she presented on Assessing the Effect of a Salesperson’s Customer Service Duration Up-selling and Cross-Selling.

The abstract for her research is presented below:

The purpose of this research project is to empirically test how a salesperson’s time spent with the customers impact on their purchasing decision. More specifically this project focuses on the duration of a salesperson’s customer service and its effects on up-selling and cross-selling. Up-selling takes place when a salesperson attempts to sell a similar but better quality product than the first product exposed to a customer. Cross-selling happens when complimentary products adding to the main product that customer initially looks for creates extra customer value. Regarding the research method, this project used observation research to capture important independent variables (Time spent with customers, and product display method) and dependent variables (Whether or not the sale was made, and sales results – up selling & cross-selling). Responses from shoppers in a large local mall were recorded into the IBM-SPSS software. The questionnaire was designed for the associate to be able to interact with a customer and complete the questionnaire afterwards. The expected outcome was that the amount of time spent with a customer would increase the likelihood of up-selling and/or cross-selling. The results from the Chi-square test greatly supported the evidence that the time spent with the salesperson had a positive impact on sales. I specifically found that while a salesperson’s short time spent with customer (less than 30 sec) increased the likelihood of up-selling, her long time spent with customers (more than 90 sec) promoted that of cross-selling.

This event was sponsored by the MTU Human Factors Student Chapter and the MTU Department of Psychology.

No Longer ‘Broke and Hungry’

Posted by Laura Bucci under Events, Student Organizations

Front left moving clockwise: Heath Johnson, James Sturos (Treasurer), Daniel Olson, Derek Menard (Secretary), Brett Ludwig (President), and Cory Sullivan pose with Shelly Larson and Dan Delquist, Edward Jones advisors

On Wednesday, April 9th, The Michigan Tech Finance Club hosted their second event of “Broke and Hungry?”.  53 students attended the event, lured by the promise of knowledge and pizza.  This year, local Edward Jones advisors Dan Delquist and Shelly Larson took the time to talk to students about investing their money.  The main topic for discussion was the transition from college life to getting that first job, as well as the importance of saving for retirement.  Delquist preached to students from all majors about technical financial topics such as tax savings, retirement plans, and asset securities.  Presenting some scary statistics about the current financial situation of most Americans, Delquist and Larson appealed to audience members about the merits of getting their finances in order.  Since Tech students are numbers-driven, students were able to clearly see the drawbacks of waiting to save for retirement.  Ensuing the presentation was a barrage of questions.  Students were very interested in both advisors’ opinions of the future states of the market, social security, inflation, and how Edward Jones operates.  Even after the session concluded, both advisors spoke with many students one-on-one to answer specific questions.

Brett Ludwig, President of the Finance Club, talked to a few of the students in order to gauge their reactions to the presentation.  Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy the event and got a lot out of it.  One student, who is going to work for a company in Texas after graduation commented, “I’m looking at all this right now and this is exactly what I needed to know.”  The event was a hit and the Finance Club hopes to be able to host more events of this nature in the future for students.  A huge thank you goes to Dan Delquist and Shelly Larson for making this one possible.

On behalf of the Finance Club, we hope you don’t wait until you’re broke and hungry to join us for the next event!

**This article was written by Brett Ludwig, with contributions from Emanuel Oliveira and Laura Bucci.

Buche wins Props for Profs

Posted by Carly Harrington under Announcements, Faculty Spotlight, Undergrad Information

Mari Buche was selected as this week's winner of Props for Profs.

The Props for Profs program through the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning asks students to nominate an instructor who has gone over and above the typical in their teaching or mentoring duties for students. This is the third teaching recognition that Buche has received (this semester alone) after being nominated for the 2014 Greek Life Outstanding Faculty Award and winning the Teacher of the Year Award in the School of Business and Economics earlier this semester.

Props for Profs winner Mari Buche is an Associate Professor of Management Information Systems in the School of Business and Economics. Buche was nominated by two students, both of whom commented on her willingness to listen and her concern for her students. The nominators called her a “kind soul” who is both “passionate and knowledgeable about everything she teaches.” Her willingness to listen to students and consider their perspectives, the fact that she occasionally “brings cookies and other treats” and her ability to make learning fun were also emphasized.

Both Buche and her nominators will receive a $5 gift certificate to purchase a snack or drink at the Library Café or several other locations on campus.

If you know a prof who has gone over and above, send some props today and maybe you’ll be next week’s winner.

LSGI Stock Competition

Posted by Laura Bucci under APMP, Announcements

Joe Dancy (’76), manager of the LSGI Venture Fund, graciously funded the first LSGI Stock Competition at Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics (SBE).  Dancy a long-time supporter of Michigan Tech, was recently selected as a member of the SBE Dean’s Advisory Council.  He believes a finance education is important to any student’s future, regardless of his/her major.

Accordingly, Dancy donated $1,000 in prize money for a portfolio competition held in the Investment Analysis (FIN 4000) course taught by Dr. Dean Johnson.  The course provides an overview of financial products, while discussing the operations of the stock market and bond market.  It also delves into portfolio theory, as well as basic stock and bond valuation techniques.  Students in this class are encouraged to participate in national stock contests.

Most stock contests select winners based solely on the portfolio with the highest return.  This approach unfortunately encourages risk-seeking behavior, which has the potential to send the wrong message to students.  Instead, Johnson was able to tie the stock competition to the instruction in his Investment Analysis course.   At the beginning of the term, students constructed their portfolios from stocks across all sectors in the economy.  After learning the risk-return concept and the mean-variance framework, each student calculated the risk-return measures for their portfolio just like a real world fund.  These risk-return measures include the portfolio’s return, standard deviation, Sharpe Ratio, Treynor Measure, Alpha, Beta, R-Squared, M-Squared, T-Squared and Information Ratio. “The competition was not only a significant experience,” remarked student Caihang Li, “but also encouraged me to better myself.”

In the end, three students, Li, Spenser Eller, and Heath Johnson, came out on top based on their portfolio’s risk-adjusted returns.  For example, Eller was able to turn a hypothetical $100,000 into $108,834 in eleven weeks versus $101,435 for an investment in the S&P 500 Index.  More importantly, his portfolio’s Sharpe Ratio was five times higher than the S&P 500′s Sharpe Ratio!  Eller expressed immense gratitude for Dancy’s contribution that made this possible, stating “The money will be put to good use, and the experience that I have gained will be invaluable.”

The SBE, Johnson and the FIN 4000 students would like to thank Mr. Dancy and the LSGI Fund for their continued support in our students’ financial education.

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