Category: Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight – Russell Lawson

Senior mathematics major and economics minor, Russell Lawson will graduate next month with a lot of great opportunities ahead of him.   Russell, like most seniors has been working on planning out the next chapter of his life.  He applied to law schools as well as government-funded fellowships to get him abroad for a year.

Within a week of one another, Russell was accepted to the University of Michigan to study law and was accepted to The Congress-Budestag Yourth Exchange for Young Professionals.  Thankfully, University of Michigan has been  understanding. Russell will go to Germany first, and begin his legal studies upon his return in fall of 2017.

As for his fellowship, Russell will be spending the year in Germany.  His first two months will be spent studying at a German language school before he begins taking law courses at a University for a semester.  Russell will then have the opportunity to spend six months working abroad.  The Congress-Budestag Yourth Exchange for Young Professionals is a selective 1-year scholarship awarded to only 75 individuals across the nation.  Congratulations, and best wishes to Russell as he begins an exciting chapter this spring!

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Marketing & Management Student Wins Gilman Scholarship to Study in Southern Spain

By Jennifer Donovan

jbdonova@mtu.edu

Kaila Pietila points to Malaga, in southern Spain, where she will be studying.

Kaila Pietila points to Malaga, in southern Spain, where she will be studying.

December 14, 2015—

Kaila Pietila wants to push her boundaries by studying for a year in Malaga, in southern Spain. The competitive national Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is going to help her do it.

The Gilman Scholarships offer grants for academic studies abroad to US undergraduates with limited financial means. The program’s goal is to better prepare US students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

And that’s exactly what Pietila, a fourth year marketing and management student in Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics, wants to do. “I want this to be my first step toward becoming a global citizen,”  she says.  “I plan to take this experience and make a difference by giving back and contributing to the increasingly interconnected community of our world, as I build my career in an international setting.”

She’s not quite sure what that career is going to be yet.  “I haven’t quite figured out exactly what I want to do when I ‘grow up’ because I’m interested and passionate about so many things,” she says. “I know whatever path I take will most certainly involve people, but I’m hopeful this experience abroad will help clarify my next step.

Malaga, in Southern Spain

She’s going to Universidad de Malaga to study international relations and Spanish language. At this point, her knowledge of Spanish is limited to the basic vocabulary and phrases she learned in high school in Hartland, Michigan, “so the language barrier will most certainly be a challenge,” Pietila says.  “However, I’m excited to focus on language while fully submerged within the culture through my Spanish coursework, daily interactions and travel abroad, and while living with my host family.” 

What made her pick Malaga?

“Malaga attracted me with its melting pot of cultures and unique location as a pinnacle of European and African influences,” Pietila says. “It is a study abroad destination not chosen by many American students, allowing for more cultural immersiveness, but it’s a popular choice among students from elsewhere in Europe. It’s a perfect place for me to study, analyze, discuss and debate global business communication in an international setting.”

Pietila has been working in Career Services since her first year at Tech. The staff there are proud of her for winning the Gilman Scholarship—but not surprised at her success. 

“Everyone at Career Services could see that Kaila was a star from the moment she started as a student assistant with us,” said Julie Way, assistant director for career development education in Career Services. “Throughout the last four years, she’s consistently gone above and beyond and exceeded our expectations. We’ve enjoyed seeing her grow personally and professionally and have very much appreciated the value she’s added to Career Services.”

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

SBE Student Athlete, Jacqueline Aird, excels on the court and in the classroom

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HILLSDALE, Mich. – Stephanie Dietrich had a game-high 13 kills and hit .522 and teammate Jacqueline Aird had 13 digs, but the Michigan Tech volleyball team was knocked off by Hillsdale, 3-0, in a GLIAC conference volleyball match today (Oct. 3) at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.

Despite the loss, the main story of the match was Aird, who passed Kristin Klock to break the program’s all-time record for career digs. A senior captain, Aird currently has 1,582 digs in her Tech career. She also holds the single-season record after tallying 491 digs last season.

Tech powered its way to an 18-13 lead in the opening set, but an impressive rally by Hillsdale ended with the Chargers taking the first frame, 25-23.

A close second set tilted in favor of Hillsdale midway through when the Chargers went on a run on their way to a 25-19 victory, and a balanced attack in the third set gave the Huskies another edge on the scoreboard before Hillsdale bounced back to edge out Tech, 26-24.

Aubrey Ficek notched 11 kills in the match. Rachel Pohlod paced the Huskies both offensively and defensively, leading Tech in assists (32) and digs (14) in the contest.

Michigan Tech (12-4 overall; 4-3 GLIAC) is back in Houghton next weekend (Oct. 9-10) for two GLIAC matches. The Huskies take on Walsh Friday at 5 p.m. before closing the weekend against Malone on Saturday at 4 p.m.

2nd Place Win at Design Expo

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!

Marketing Student Shines at 2014 UPISRC

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.