Author: Lynn Makela

Faculty presentation: Dr. Mari Buche

http://www.mtu.edu/business/school/faculty/mari-buche/image16408-pers.jpg

Please join the School of Business and Economics and Associate Professor of Management Information Systems Mari Buche for a brown bag lunch presentation on January 23rd at Noon in Academic Office Building 101. Her presentation is titled: “Lessons Learned: Chronicles of a Sabbatical Experience.”

Upcoming Research Presentations

  • Manish Srivastava – February 6, 12-1 pm,  Endnote Workshop
  • Howard Qi – February 18, 12-1 pm, Hanoi Workshop, and the Risk Management of Natural Disasters
  • Roger Woods – February 25, 12 – 1 pm, Minimizing academic integrity violations in Excel assignments
  • Junhong Min – March 6, 12 – 1 pm, The new product development using the decomposition analysis: stimulus presentation mode bias
  • Andre Laplume – March 20, 12 – 1 pm, Outstreaming for ambidexterity: How serving internal and external customers can facilitate exploration


What happened this semester? Fall 2012 Student Project Round-up.

It seemed like just yesterday that campus was green and the sun was shining–wait, that was yesterday. Even with a relatively mild fall as a distraction, the students in the School of Business and Economics have been busy making significant advances in their own professional development, marketing savvy, and knowledge conquests. Reflect back with us as we review a few of the best class projects from the Fall 2012 semester at Michigan Tech.

APMP students, Anna Paul, Jessica Zaiki, Mike Harry, and Justin Wilson met with Perrigo's CFO to discuss corporate financial decision making.

On-Site Company Research for Finance Competition at Perrigo

In late November, four students in the Applied Portfolio Management Program traveled to Perrigo, the largest manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in the United States, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. This competition brings students, publicly traded companies, and industry investment professionals together to promote hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.

Anna Paul, Jessica Zaiki, Mike Harry, and Justin Wilson took part in the investor relations meeting and talked to Perrigo’s CFO, Judy Brown, about financial decision making and analysis within the company. The students will now take the information and compile financial forecasting to present at a competition against five other schools at Western Michigan in February.

“This trip made learning about the actual company so much easier than pulling information from the website,” said Paul. “It’s nice to see that a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry cares about the local community and not about cutting corners.”

This is the first year that Michigan Tech was able to take part in this competition thanks to the support given to APMP by Jim and Dolores Trethewey.

Management Information Systems Students Team Up with Blue Terra Energy

Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy, LLC, pictured with Emily Jensen, Rachel Plafchan, and Seth Stever, students in MIS 4100.

Emily Jensen, Rachel Plafchan, and Seth Stever worked closely with Blue Terra Energy LLC, a local energy company in Hancock, to develop a usable database system as part of an upper-division management and information systems class. Assistant Professor in Management Information Systems (MIS), Haiyan Huang, orchestrated the curriculum to include this experiential learning opportunity.

“The goal was to streamline the data collection, organization, updating, reporting, and analysis processes for the company,” she added.

Working closely with client Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy and ’93 Mechanical Engineering alum, students were able to create a workable database with customized customer fields, inputs, and sorting that will keep projects running smoothly.

“I have been very uneasy about our data and the cost to maintain it. I am very excited about the system the students developed and it has great potential,” said Camps. “This system is really going to help us a lot to track customers, schedules and orders. It will allow us to move forward more aggressively. I am eager to get this implemented on our server.”

Finance U: Educates Michigan Tech Students about Financial Literacy

First FinanceU Event hosted at Michigan Tech. A partnership between the Finance Club and the Office of Financial Aid.

During December, the Michigan Tech Finance Club, in partnership with the Michigan Tech Office of Financial Aid, held the first FinanceU educational event at the J.R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library. Aimed at fostering financial literacy on campus, the event was specifically tailored to students, regardless of class and major. Finance Club members offered personal consultations and information related to personal finance, financial aid opportunities, the upcoming FAFSA for 2013-14, and useful tips on how to benefit from CashCourse – a free online personal finance program sponsored by the Alumni Association.

“Since last May, this fantastic group of students and financial aid representatives have been working together on organizing and developing content to make FinanceU as effective and fun as possible for everyone, regardless of class and major,” said Finance Club Advisor, Dr. Emanuel Oliveira. “Now it is time to learn from this first experience and the 69 questionnaires we were able to collect from students concerning their demographics and financial habits. Ultimately, the goal is to make FinanceU an annual financial literacy event on campus though we are also seriously considering the feasibility of holding it every semester. We sincerely believe that all participants have something to win from this.”

A Leaner Meaner Brand: Students Report on Subway’s Marketing

Amber Campbell, Michael Bennet, Joel Vertin, and Qin Xu developed a marketing plan to improve the brand of Subway in both America and China.  As part of the MBA Marketing, Technology, and Globalization course taught by Assistant Professor of Marketing Soonkwan Hong, the team worked together to present a compelling case for change. The final presentation is available on the School of Business and Economics YouTube channel.

Marketing for Local Businesses: Gitzen Company

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yupfjG_s1CU[/youtube]

Students in Assistant Professor of Marketing Jun Min’s Business-to-Business marketing course provide marketing consulting for local companies. This student consulting project was designed to apply knowledge of marketing theories in a real business context, evaluate the practices of the client company, and develop an advertising strategy for potential customers.

A team of students including Angela Barr, Kaylee Betzinger, Chyanne Knudsen, Samantha Robbins, Christina Ruth, and Sarah Vadnais put together a strategy that included a commercial (above) for Gitzens Company that provides food products such as candy and snacks and operates out of Houghton, Michigan.

Digital Marketing for ShareBliss.com

ShareBliss.com is a new website that combines features from popular social sites, such as Pinterest and Sharethis, and integrates online advertising by using Googles Ad Sense. While ShareBliss.com is a live site, the founders are completing beta testing and needed digital marketing advice for their formal launch.  Instructor Cindy McColley’s Digital Marketing class completed projects and sent them to the ShareBliss.com founders who were thrilled to obtain thoughts and insights from the Michigan Tech students; and they were impressed with the quality and detail of the work.

View the ShareBliss.com digital marketing projects from Lindsee Willis and Alexander Alsobrooks.


Fall 2012 Impact Magazine

Impact Magazine, Fall/Winter 2012

In this issue of Impact we explore the concept of networking and relationships leading to future opportunities for us around the world. The New Venture Competition, a partnership between Michigan Tech and Central Michigan University, is an excellent example of this effort (page 4) as is our work in project management (page 8), and other faculty-led competitions (pages 7 and 9).

From there, we focus on three alumni: Maggie Chen ’04 finds career success and a balanced family in the demanding world of international finance (page 11), Greg Horvath ’82 discovers what he refers to as “the biggest changes in information technology,” and Andy Storm ’99 combines engineering and business to help keep troops safe around the world (page 14).

Updates on campus include the new engineering management major and global business minor (page 16), a faculty-led market research project (page 18), and Dean Johnson’s award as the 2012 Michigan Teacher of the Year (page 19). Next we have an update on the Sam B. Tidwell red tie campaign from recent CPA recipients and our accounting faculty (page 22).

To round out this issue, the Tech MBA Online class of 2012 completes their degrees with an international capstone trip to Bangalore, India’s version of Silicon Valley (page 20). Two undergraduate students also provide their perspective on international travel by answering a few questions about their summer study abroad experiences in Germany and Spain (pages 26 and 27).

Read this issue of Impact Magazine.

Please enjoy these updates from the School. We invite your thoughts and conversations at any time. Contact the School of Business and Economics.


Hoffman to Discuss Behavioral Economics, Academic Advancement for Women, and More

Dr. Elizabeth Hoffman, presenting to campus on December 4

Elizabeth Hoffman, an expert in experimental and behavioral economics, will meet with several faculty and student groups at Michigan Tech, Monday and Tuesday, December 3 and 4.

Hoffman, currently professor of economics at Iowa State, will be giving four separate presentations over the two days. Her forty-plus years in academia have included stints as a university president and executive vice president and provost, and she will address different aspects of her research and experience.

At her University-wide keynote Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom A2, she’ll address “The Evolution of Experimental and Behavioral Economics.” This event is open to the public.

“Starting in the 1950s, a small number of experimental economists challenged the economics orthodoxy of the day by studying markets in an experimental laboratory setting,” Hoffman says. “This early work helped shape our understanding of how markets work.”

Before the 1987 stock market crash, Hoffman says most economists believed that bubbles and crashes wouldn’t happen because sophisticated traders would not allow prices to deviate from intrinsic value. The 1987 crash burst that thought bubble, and more recently, behavioral economists have shown that the beliefs of unsophisticated traders can actually drive up prices, well over their intrinsic values, witness the housing bubble that burst recently.

“With my coauthor Vernon Smith [2002 Nobel Prize winner], we also looked at two-person bargaining games that feature cooperation and competition. The results revealed, among other traits, that observation leads to more fairness, equity and equality,” she says.

Hoffman will have lunch with female faculty members at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and discuss the status of women in academia. Acknowledging that there remains underrepresentation of women in many fields, she will discuss the importance of family-friendly programs, especially as they pertain to the child-bearing years of female graduate students, postdocs and faculty.

“While provost at Iowa State, I was able to raise the numbers of female and minority senior administrators from 20 to 60 percent,” she says. “And I was able to do so with the best people for the positions by eliminating unintended bias and ensuring that every employment pool was highly diverse.”

With the Senate Finance Committee, she will discuss “Responsibility-centered Budgeting in Higher Education.” At Iowa State, it featured decentralized budgeting with deans responsible for space and faculty benefits, including start-up costs, among other budget issues.

“Our results were dramatically positive,” she says “Even though we started it in July 2008 in the midst of the recession and lost 25 percent of our state budget, we grew our incoming student numbers by almost one quarter.” With the Senate Finance Committee at 2 p.m. Monday, she also plans to discuss faculty accountability, a subject she addressed recently in an article on the Inside Higher Ed website.

At 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, she’ll visit a class, EC4640 Natural Resource Economics, and discuss “Property Rights and the Coase Theorem.” Hoffman is an expert on the Coase Theorem, named after 1991 Nobel Prize in Economics winner Ronald Coase. It is an important basis for most modern economic analyses of government regulation.

Hoffman’s visit is part of the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series. This event is funded by the Michigan Tech President’s Office and a grant to the Office for Institutional Diversity for the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

Written by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor, published in Tech Today.


Tour Silicon Valley during Spring Break 2013

2012 Michigan Tech Tour of Autodesk in San Francisco, California.

Looking for a life and career changing experience? On December 6th at 5pm, you can interview for the chance to go on the best Spring Break trip of your life. The Silicon Valley Experience 2013 will take 15 lucky students to visit California’s technology and innovation hub from March 10 – 15.  To win a spot at the significantly reduced cost of $300, all you have to do is answer one question in 90-seconds: “Why would I like to work and live in Silicon Valley?”

Your answer will be given verbally to the trip coordinators and final trip participants will be selected and notified before the end of the semester. This year, the participants will tour of some of the most innovative companies on the west coast. Last year the group visited Google, Brocade, Cisco, Kyocera, Plug and Play, and other companies.

The Details:

This opportunity is available to current undergraduate and graduate students of all majors at Michigan Tech.

  • Email Russ Louks, rwlouks@mtu.edu your name, major, and year by 5pm on December 5th to participate. A schedule will be sent out early on December 6th with the time you will be interviewed in the Academic Office Building conference room 101.
  • Practice your pitch and deliver it to the panel of judges.
  • If you are selected, you will be expected to:

o   Pay a deposit of  $300 (which includes airfare, transportation around California, and lodging but not food for the trip) prior to leaving for winter break.

o   Work in small groups to review companies we will be attending and present to group before departure to Silicon Valley. (This is to ensure that all trip attendees have an understanding and basic knowledge of the companies we will be visiting).

o   Create a list of thoughtful questions to ask each company in person.

o   Create and bring a resume.

If you have questions about the trip or the interview selection process, please email Russ Louks, rwlouks@mtu.edu or Andre Laplume, aolaplum@mtu.edu.

Read about the 2012 Silicon Valley Experience.

View photos on Facebook.