Category: Student Organizations

Finance Club Fosters Financial Literacy on Campus

On November 20th, the Michigan Tech Finance Club in partnership with the Michigan Tech Office of Financial Aid and Wells Fargo held the second edition of FinanceU at the R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library. In line with the 2012 edition, this event aimed at fostering financial literacy on campus and was specifically tailored to students, regardless of class and major. It offered advising and information related to personal finance, financial aid opportunities (e.g. grants & scholarships), the relevance of starting  a retirement plan as early as possible, and useful tips on how to benefit from several online tools such as CashCourse – a free online personal finance program sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Students were asked to complete a short survey covering areas such as their current method of budgeting, Federal Direct Student Loan knowledge and any additional areas that they may have questions in. Financial Aid Advisor, Cindy Cowell noted “as a piece of our financial literacy initiative on campus, the financial aid office is pleased to partner with the Finance Club to implement programming designed to increase the financial literacy of Michigan Tech’s student body.” The club does an effective job of promoting the message to students that topics such as  budgeting, credit, responsible borrowing and retirement are critical to know in order to remain on a financially stable path.  Financial education now will enable students to make sound financial decisions and enable them to live the life that they desire later.

Well Fargo Store Manager Ellie Freeman also participated in Finance U noting that it is a great opportunity for students to ask questions, because it is a casual environment without any pressure. Freeman also added, “it’s important to know while you are in school the importance of building credit in a positive manner.” She also recommended that students have a minimum of three savings accounts: long term, short term, and 3 months salary. This event is great because it brings together people who have a great deal of knowledge about financial planning into one place that is easily accessible by students.

Financial Aid Advisor Cindy Cowell talks with a student about personal financial management.

The partnership between Financial Aid and the Finance Club is effective in delivering a critical financial message to Michigan Tech students. For example, hearing about a topic such as retirement and the need to start saving at a young age, is received by students much more readily when the message is coming from a peer. Michigan Tech students often have the opportunity to contribute to a retirement plan as part of their co-op job benefits. We hope to educate students to take advantage of these kinds of financial opportunities at as young an age as possible.

The Finance Club and partners collected 165 surveys this year-- double what they collected the previous year!

This event is the outcome of the continued efforts by the Finance Club and the Office of Financial Aid to foster financial literacy on campus. Dr. Oliveira said “our fantastic Finance Club members put significant effort to disseminate to their fellow students, knowledge and resources available either at MTU or in the world wide web that can significantly impact the betterment of personal financial management.” This year the Finance Club has also invited the local Wells Fargo manager to share her experience with tailoring retirement plans according to each individual’s life stage and goals. Oliveira also noted that the students’ interest and participation has been outstanding this year.  The Finance Club collected 165 surveys on finance-related practices and demographics this year –  an increase of 100 relatively to the prior year. Besides disseminating information our club members get a chance to practice their communication skills and ability to test their know-how with real world questions. We are looking forward to learn from this year’s experience and continuously improve this annual event.

Experience Silicon Valley over Spring Break!

Sign-up by December 5th for the 2014 Silicon Valley Experience!

The Experience of a Lifetime

Each spring 15 students travel from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, to the world hub of start-ups and entrepreneurs- Silicon Valley. This eye-opening experience focuses on immersing students in real companies, with real players, and the current challenges they face.

This year, you can to go Silicon Valley during Spring Break (March 8-14). Visits with entrepreneurs, inventors, managers and companies including Brocade, Cisco, and Google will provide you with a first-hand understanding of technology built enterprises that are revolutionizing global business.

Take Advantage of This Opportunity

Brocade is once again sponsoring the trip bringing the cost to $300 per person including airfare, hotel accommodations with breakfast each morning and transportation throughout the duration of the trip.

This trip is open to all Michigan Tech students. Please pass the information along. Student participation is based on a two minute interview on “Why you want to work and live on Silicon Valley.” If you are interested in participating, please email Karen Foltz at You will be assigned interview time starting at 4:00 pm on December 5, 2013.

Click here to view the PDF Brochure:  SiliconValley2014

Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition

All Majors invited to Elevator Pitch Competition!

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short speech that outlines a business idea.

Come Pitch your idea for a chance to win $1000 in 90 seconds!

When: Thursday, November 7th at 6:00 pm

Where: Fisher Hall, Room 135

Why: $1000 First Place Prize…$500 Second Place Prize…$250 Third Place Prize…$200 Audience Favorite

Even if you’re not interested in competing, please join us for what is sure to be a fun and entertaining event! We look forward to see you in the audience!

Please contact Nikoli Wiens with any questions at

Undergraduate Student Government Participation = Resume Boost

USG offers SBE students the opportunity to apply their academics and background to boost their resume and align with career goals.

Michigan Tech’s Student Government asks the students of SBE:

“What would Goldman Sachs do?”

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is currently exploring an idea to engage students interested in the application of business and economics.  The idea is to create a kind of student consultancy that can assist the USG Executive Team in the strategic management and investment of the Student Activity Fee (SAF) accounts, which total more than $800k annually.

Part of the USG’s mission is to support all student organizations. To do that, USG uses the SAF money to fund orgs and initiatives for the benefit of all students.  The overall vision of this role is to provide financial resources so that the student orgs can help Tech to graduate students ready to “create the future”.

USG’s Challenge: The goal of graduating students ready to “create the future” is difficult to optimize because it is not inherently empirical.  There are few metrics in use to tell USG which potential investments are most valuable, or to measure the success of investments.  Therefore, USG hopes students can answer the following questions:

  • What critical results does USG need to deliver when investing the SAF funds?
  • What processes/metrics can we use to prioritize investment to deliver those results?
  • What metrics can we use to monitor the success of an org and/or new initiative?

By providing this open ended challenge, USG hopes students can apply their training to create resume experiences in line with their professional goals.  In doing so, these students can build a network of motivated partners inside and outside the university, and leave a lasting impact on the entire Michigan Tech community.

Please contact Kyle Johnston with questions or interest.

THE Project 2014

Sign up by October 1st to join a team for this year's competition!

If you enjoyed the project management course, you will really enjoy THE Project 2014 competition.  Each year student teams compete by developing a project plan for a specific case study. The competition is sponsored by the West Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute (WMPMI).  This is the third year of the competition and the number of schools participating as well as teams is expected to increase.  There is an opportunity to win a part of the $10,000 prize money too.  First place team receives $5,000, second place receives $3,000, and third receives $2,000.  In last year’s competition, Michigan Tech’s two teams placed 2nd and 3rd place!  We hope to field more winning teams this year.

If you have completed a project management course and are interested in participating, you will need to contact Dr. Dana Johnson before October 1, 2013.  You will then be given approval to enroll in OSM4200 Advanced Project Management for Spring 2014. The course meets by arrangement.  There is a maximum of three teams with up to six members each so sign up early.  More information about the competition can be found here.

If you would like to talk to past team members, there are a few here at Michigan Tech. These students can share with you their experiences of working with PMI certified mentors, opportunities with companies for internships and/or career options, and the great hands on experience.  It looks good on your resume too.

This year’s case is based on mergers and acquisitions of health care organizations and was written by Dr. Johnson the faculty advisor.  Interested in learning more??? Please contact Dr. Johnson at .

THE Project 2014

The Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute (WMPMI) is currently in the preparation stages of their 3rd Annual Collegiate Project Management Competition… “THE Project 2014.”


To develop young business leaders by partnering college students, community leaders, and Project Management Professionals to competitively tackle a commonly shared business challenge.


Teams will develop a proposal, strategy, approach and plan that could be used to develop a product, service or result. Teams will be judged on their use of proper project management techniques.  Team members will enjoy the benefits of working on a real life business challenge with a Project Management Professional Mentor. Teams will compete for a financial reward and recognition.

Fun facts

  • Each collegiate team will consist of 4 – 6 students
  • Each collegiate team will consist of no more than 50% graduate level students
  • Each collegiate team will need to have the names of their team members delivered to the PMI Education Council by no later than November 1st, 2013
  • Each collegiate team will have a “Mentor” assigned by the PMI Education Council.  A Mentor is a Project Management Professional (PMP) certified in the many disciplines of Project Management and they’ll meet with the team and Team Champion on a regular basis to mentor them through the competition deliverables
  • Each collegiate team will have at least 1, no more than 2 “Team Champion(s).”  A Team Champion is a school official (usually faculty member or department head) that meets with the team on a semi-regular basis to help motivate and support the work of the team and the Mentor
  • Knowledge in or pursuit of a program of study in Business, Engineering or Project Management is not a requirement but will be helpful in completing various competition deliverables as well as having students studying varying backgrounds like Finance, Human Resources,  Business, Sociology, etc.
  • Each educational institution will be allowed to enter a maximum of 2 teams into the competition
  • There is no cost to any students or the educational institution to participate (other than coordinating travel to Grand Rapids on the final event day in April 2014)
  • The winning team in the competition receives $5,000 to split between its members however all top 4 finishing teams will receive some form of monetary reward for their success
  • The winning team will also have an opportunity to present their project plans at a West Michigan Chapter of PMI dinner meeting

All competitors will participate in a day-long final event where:

  • a Reverse Career-Fair will take place involving all the sponsor and partner companies (over half of our competitors in previous years have ended up with an internship or job offer)
  • each team will present their final presentations to a panel of leading project management professionals for the first round of judging and the top four teams will then present to a panel of prominent business leaders for final judging

Students will. . .

  • Receive an intern like opportunity in Project Management
  • Experience a great opportunity to work on real business problems and create a real project plan for the business
  • Enjoy a networking opportunity to interact with local business leaders
  • Gain real world opportunity to showcase leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Represent their school in a collegiate competition
  • Develop career focused skills which will translate to career opportunities
  • Participate in “hands-on” learning in a team environment

Below are three videos from the PMI website that are great:

Governor Snyder’s Greeting (his personal address to participants in last year’s competition)

West Michigan Week Video – Aired April 2013 (on WGVU News)

THE Project Vision Video (THE Project from an internal perspective)

*The West Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute (WMPMI) started planning a collegiate Project Management competition in 2011 for students in various business, engineering and project management content areas.  The students competed for a cash prize and in some cases received college credit (this is dependent entirely on the awarding institution… i.e. policies regarding Prior Learning Assessment Credit or ability to implement content material into curriculum).  The biggest benefit for the students was the networking they were able to do and the exposure they received to various local businesses and leaders so they might secure internships and jobs once they graduate.  This event has grown in size and popularity and is now an annual event that WMPMI looks forward to every year.