Category: Marketing

Collegiate DECA at MTU: Reactivated and Ready to Go!

(Photo: Left to right: Jaylen Body, Madelyn Carey, Rachel Weyenberg, Lexi Dembrowski, Katie Draves, Madison Mattila, Zach Hooper, and Sammy Perrone)

By Jaylen Body, Michigan Tech management student and DECA club president

After a five-year hiatus, Collegiate DECA has been reactivated on the campus of Michigan Technological University, and members are gearing up to hit the road for their first State Career Development Conference February 4-6.

Collegiate DECA is a program that prepares emerging leaders in the areas of finance, marketing, hospitality, management, and entrepreneurship. It’s for students interested in not just problem solving, but business problem solving. Participants engage in competitive events where they’re faced with business problems reflective of real-life situations in industry, and are challenged to develop innovative solutions before presenting their ideas to industry professionals. In addition to competitions, students can dive into Collegiate DECA challenges, like the Stock Market Game or the Virtual Case Simulation—an interactive, browser-based simulation allowing students to take charge of a virtual business environment.

This month, members of MTU DECA, advised by Jenny Apriesnig, assistant professor of economics, are preparing to attend the State Career Development Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where six Huskies will participate in individual and team competitive events. To kick off preparations, the group invited College of Business accounting and DECA alumna Katie Draves to inspire current members.

Detailing her experiences, Draves credits DECA for being an organization that has “something for everyone,” explaining that no matter the area of study, DECA is an organization anyone can get involved in.

Speaking on the career benefits of being in DECA, she promises students that they’ll learn to be well rounded and prepared for different situations, and will gain exposure to valuable networking opportunities.

When asked for tips and advice on how members participating in the state conference can succeed, Draves says, “Get to know your strengths and weaknesses,” but most importantly, she encourages students to learn from their unique experiences while competing.

“Get to know your strengths and weaknesses.”

Katie Draves, Michigan Tech alumna

Thinking about the upcoming opportunity, first-year marketing student Sammy Perrone says: “I hope to make connections, build relationships, and gain knowledge and skills that will help me build a foundation for my college and career endeavors.”

“I hope to make connections, build relationships, and gain knowledge and skills that will help me build a foundation for my college and career endeavors.”

Sammy Perrone, Michigan Tech marketing student

Michigan Tech Collegiate DECA welcomes new members of all majors. The group is a good fit for students looking to get involved in a professional organization that applies classroom material to real business problems. Follow along on Instagram @mtu_deca.

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.


Marketing Internship Success Story

Third-year Michigan Tech marketing student Jaxon Verhoff has received four internship offers from industry-leading companies—General Motors, Kimberly Clark, Caterpillar, and Dow Chemical. 

Jaxon Verhoff

“My offers are due in large part to the opportunities the College of Business has made available to me,” Verhoff says. Some of the most valuable career-shaping experience, he says, has been interacting with alumni, student organization activities and competitions, projects, and technology incorporation into curriculum.

While all four companies would offer valuable marketing internship experience, Verhoff settled on Dow Chemical, where he’ll serve as a digital marketing analyst intern, because of its proximity to his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. His top internship goal? Soaking in all that working at a large company has to offer.

“I am going to have the opportunity to meet and interact with many people company-wide, so I will be asking questions and learning from professionals.”

Jaxon Verhoff, Michigan Tech marketing student

In addition, Verhoff will have his hand in projects, getting to apply and build upon classroom knowledge.

Verhoff participated in Michigan Tech’s Career Fairs to gain the internship opportunities. In fall 2020, he met virtually with as many companies as possible to get his name out there. By fall of this year, he met again with some of the same recruiters who remembered him and were able to track his personal and professional growth.

“Jaxon has followed our success formula. He has continued to apply for an internship until he gets it.”

Junhong “Jun” Min, Michigan Tech professor of marketing
Jaxon, second from top left, chilling post-class with his broomball team

Long term, Verhoff is after a sense of career fulfillment. The people he surrounds himself with, the company culture he immerses himself in, and the projects he leads, he says, all lend themselves toward the feeling of making a difference, making an impact—that he’s ultimately looking to achieve. “Success and a great salary are important, but feeling fulfilled is what’s most important to me,” he adds.

Before he heads off to Dow, Verhoff, who is a senior residential assistant, is eager to continue working toward goals as president of the American Marketing Association group on campus. “We are developing meaningful connections with industry professionals, faculty, and students, while deepening our digital marketing skills through data analysis, case studies, and competitions.”

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.


Healthcare IT Executive Heads Inside Tech Business Classes

The Michigan Tech College of Business (COB) welcomed Paul Stinson on September 28, 2021. Since he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan Tech in 1984, Stinson has held multiple VP and C-suite positions for leading healthcare IT companies.

Stinson is an accomplished executive with 35 years’ experience in the field of Healthcare Information Technology, having held roles with Sunquest, Sage, and MediQuest. He has delivered hundreds of global products and services to the healthcare community from conception to commercialization. Stinson is currently a member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the Product Development and Management Association.

During his campus visit, he weaved his expertise and passion for business education into a learning experience for the students and faculty, sharing real-world business anecdotes and opportunities in the field of Healthcare Information Technology.  

Paula Stinson in MTU classroom

While on campus, Stinson interacted with the COB students in three classes—Operations and Supply Chain Management; Project Management; and Sales and Sales Technology. Dr. Junhong “Jun” Min, associate professor of marketing, pointed out, “Students learned how data makes sales work, and his thoughts on the future really inspired them.”

Third-year marketing major Jaxon Verhoff said, “Mr. Stinson took the time to give me direction and advice on how to maximize the value of my MTU education in my career.”

Stinson’s experience complements new COB faculty member Tripti Singh’s expertise on healthcare information systems; her work includes the adoption of healthcare technology, information privacy, and health information disclosure issues among patients in the healthcare domain. Research in this area enriches the application of MIS and could benefit future multidisciplinary projects with the development of Tech’s H-STEM complex.

Paul Stinson currently serves on COB’s Dean’s Advisory Council.

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.


Branding Expert, Alumna Monica Hahn Visits Tech Marketing Students

Students members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) this week spent time with College of Business alumna, brand management expert, and entrepreneur Monica Hahn. After a successful career in marketing for well-known global brands, Hahn is now thriving as a franchisee with Elements MassageTM. Elements Massage is one of the largest retail massage franchises in North America. Hahn owns and operates two studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Before joining the Elements family, Hahn spent several years as a brand strategy consultant and career coach, focused on inspiring brands and individuals to reach their potential. Before beginning her own practice, she was a respected senior executive for a number of large companies, including ARAMARK, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Burger King Corporation, and Whirlpool.  

Junhong “Jun” Min, faculty advisor to the AMA group, says that learning real-world marketing stories and examples is an essential feature of Marketing at Michigan Tech.

Monica’s passion for education and leadership development reaches outside her day job. For a decade, she was a board member for The Leadership Investment, a Denver-based nonprofit focused on advancing the collaborative power of women and men leading together. Since 2012, she has served on the Board of Directors for Asante Africa Foundation, a nonprofit working in East Africa to educate and empower the next generation of change agents, whose dreams and actions are transforming the future for Africa and the world. And through her work in Africa, she connected with the Michigan Tech Pavlis Honors College, and is a member of their External Advisory Board. Hahn has been a member of Michigan Tech’s Presidential Council of Alumnae since 2007. 

Vice president of AMA, Ryan Calkins, says that a key takeaway following Hahn’s presentation was that connecting with people is one of the most important aspects of brand management. And Jaxon Verhoff, president of AMA, adds: “It was really fulfilling to hear Monica discuss her experiences in marketing. Listening to her validated my decision to choose marketing as my major.”

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration she earned at Michigan Tech, Hahn holds an MBA in marketing from Western Michigan University. She is passionate about food, travel, education and a healthy outdoor lifestyle, and resides in northern California with her husband.

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.


My Life On Campus During COVID-19

Emily Kughn is a second-year student in Michigan Technological University’s College of Business, dual majoring in marketing and management with a concentration in supply chain and operations management. The Horton, Michigan, native is also a member of the American Marketing Association. Below is her piece about what it’s like living and learning on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walking onto campus to start my first year, I felt a huge mix of emotions: happy to start a new chapter, sad to leave my family and friends back home, anxious about what’s to come, and excited about my new independence. Just like any other first-time college student, I had my guesses about what college might be like, but I really had no idea what to expect. I can assure you the last thing I anticipated was a global pandemic!

Fast forward now into my second year at Michigan Tech—my everyday campus life looks much different than it did last year. Obviously, I wish more than anything that this virus never existed, but I’ve learned to forge a new path and create a new normal.

The sense of community on Michigan Tech’s campus is especially strong this year. We’ve found creative ways to come together and show support for one another. Since we can’t attend sporting events, have large gatherings, or socialize much outside of class, it makes the interaction we do get extra special. My favorite ways to safely socialize now include our outdoor movie nights, bonfires, going on hikes, and Zoom calls with my friends.

In order to thrive in online classes, I find it vital to establish a routine to stay organized. I treat my classes the same way I would if they were all in person. I make sure to mask up and head to the library at least twice a week in order to get a change of scenery while studying. I am also still very much involved in student organizations, which keeps me busy.

In the American Marketing Association, we participated in a virtual marketing competition and the Women’s Rugby Club competed against our conference in a virtual season. My student org involvement has been a major blessing; being able to stay connected with others in new ways while also staying involved in things I enjoy.

The most challenging part of the year so far has been not being able to attend all classes in person, not being able to see all of my friends, trying to meet new people, and constantly dealing with the many unknowns.

Finding opportunities to learn and grow given our current circumstances is important. Living and learning on campus during a pandemic definitely comes with challenges. However, I am thankful to be on the campus I love, still doing the things I enjoy (even if virtual for now).