The Sam Tidwell Outstanding Students in Business awards are presented annually to College of Business undergraduates who embody a dedication to academic, leadership, and extracurricular involvement within the Michigan Tech community. Congratulations to our 2023 recipients:
Congratulations to Fiona Chow, recipient of the Management Information Systems (MIS) Alumni Scholarship. The MIS Alumni Scholarship is an endowed scholarship created and funded by College of Business MIS graduates. Selection criteria include being an MIS major (or dual major) with a strong academic standing, a demonstrated commitment to the degree program, and professional communication skills.
“Being honored with this scholarship makes my final semesters at MTU much more meaningful. With the support of this scholarship and our alumni, I feel confident in my ability to fully focus on academics while giving back and making an impact through campus involvement,” Chow says.
The fourth-year MIS student, who will graduate in December 2022, is interning this summer as a data engineer with Polaris, Inc. Chow is researching and integrating a new weather data source into the powersports leader’s analytics database and creating an application to better understand supplier capacity information, while learning new programming languages including SQL and R.
Jeff Wall, associate professor of MIS, says that Chow is ambitious, focused, and driven—with a bright future ahead. Her career interests include data analytics, data science, brand management, entrepreneurship, and research and development. She says that she is a curious person who is interested in learning about ways to bring people and solutions together through technology.
On-campus, Chow serves as project manager of SENSE Enterprise (Strategic Education Through Naval Systems Experiences). She is responsible for overall Enterprise strategy, leadership, direction, and growth. She is also an Orientation Team Leader, a founding member of the MTU Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) chapter, a College of Business student ambassador, IRHC broomball player, and participant in swing club lessons and Ridge Roamer climbs.
About the College of Business
The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.
Sit down with Russ Louks, management information systems professor of practice in Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics.
Where does a giant international retailer turn when it needs innovative IT support? Michigan Technological University, of course.
Target Corporation, with international headquarters in Minneapolis, is the first retail firm to participate in Michigan Tech’s signature Enterprise program. In the Enterprise program, teams of students work with a business or industry sponsor on a real-world problem that the sponsor would like the students to help solve.
ITOxygen is an Enterprise that specializes in information technology (IT) solutions. Their motto: We breathe new life into information technology projects.
Target actually presented ITOxygen with several problems involving mobile app development and computer infrastructure. Over the school year, the students developed an app for the iPad that measures wi-fi connectivity throughout Target stories. Another app lets shoppers with Android smartphones build a shopping list and share it with others.
The shopping list app will be particularly useful for event planners, teachers and parents buying school supplies, or groups of students or others living together. “With it, you can avoid buying 200 boxes of Kleenex and no crayons, Russ Louks, ITOxygen’s advisor, explains.
The ITOxygen students also wrote scripts to automatically deploy servers nationwide. Then they were invited to present their work to a meeting of high-level corporate executives.
Target not only put money into the project, they really integrated the students into the corporate IT structure, says Rick Berkey, the Enterprise liaison between Michigan Tech and corporate sponsors. “The students are working right along with Target IT professionals, learning the language of the industry,” Berkey says. “That level of support and time commitment is unusual.”
Target has enjoyed recruiting for technical talent at Michigan Tech, says E. B. Hakkinen, process consultant for Target Corporation’s Technology Solutions. “Target was interested in continuing to build upon our strong relationship with Michigan Tech, she explains. “We wanted to deepen our partnership and technology brand on campus. We saw a unique opportunity through the Enterprise Program, specifically ITOxygen, to brand Target as an employer of choice for technology students, while collaborating with Michigan Tech students and giving them a first-hand experience of what it could be like to work for Target.”
“We learned a lot in our first year, 2012-2013, working with ITOxygen,” she continues. “This past year we experienced success with all of our ITOxygen projects. We found the best approach is to allow the students to be innovative in their solutions while we provide the support and tools necessary for them to be successful. We look forward to continuing our relationship and seeing innovative solutions from the ITOxygen students in the coming school year.”
As Berkey puts it, without a hint of a grin, “the ITOxygen students have been right on target.”
One of the students, David Shull, a computer engineering major, was especially impressed with Target’s commitment to integrating technology into retail sales. “It’s really exciting how innovative they’re being in mobile and web technologies,” he says.
Shull feels that the Enterprise project teaches skills that are hard to learn in a traditional classroom setting. “The most important thing I gained was the experience working on a corporate project with people from all over the country,” he says.
Projects like ITOxygen’s work with Target prepare students for their future in the working world, which is just what Target—the first retailer to come to Michigan Tech’s Career Fairs–wants. “Target is recruiting skilled IT employees,” says Berkey. “It’s more than a retail store.”
Shull says students need the kind of experiences the Target Enterprise project offered. “It’s too easy for students to think they know what ‘real’ work is like,” he says. “I hear students complain about how a concept they’ve learned won’t be of use in the real world. Opportunities like the Target Enterprise project give students hands-on experience that is guaranteed to be applicable in the real world, and demonstrates the value of concepts that were learned previously. They also facilitate self-learning, engineering management and other key skills.
“Plus—there is something really cool about walking into a Target store and knowing that you wrote an app the employees or shoppers are using.”
This story was originally posted in Michigan Tech News and written by Jennifer Donovan. To see the original story please view this link.
A team from the Business Development Experience Course (BUS 4992) tied for second place in the category of Design Expo Image Contest, in 2014’s Design Expo. This accomplishment is particularly impressive, as over 600 Michigan Tech students across all disciplines competed in this year’s hands-on, discovery-based learning program, hosted by the Institute for Leadership and Innovation and the College of Engineering.
The team, titled “Balise and RFID Use in Rail Systems,” consisted of members Frank Kampe (’14, BS in Marketing), Min Li (’14, BS in Operations and Systems Management), Daniel Holmberg (’14, BS in Management), and Kevin Heras (projected graduation: Fall 2014, majoring in Management). In order to participate in the Design Expo, team members took the Business Development Experience two-course sequence, where business school students ascertain the commercial viability of potential projects. Since the implementation of the courses, business school students have been teaming up with the Enterprise and Senior design project teams to look at their technologies from a business perspective.
Team Advisor and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Saurav Pathak, was pleased with his students and the work they conducted. “This group in particular made valuable recommendations to Technical Expert Network (TEN) on how to expand the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies in the US rail industry,” Pathak remarked. He added, “The fact that business school students were placed as award winners in an event that predominantly highlights the technological feats at Michigan Tech is proof that there is value in ascertaining the business prospects of these technologies.”
Congratulations to the team on their award!