Category: Student Spotlight

Finance Club Experiences Chicago

Finance Club enjoying a tour of the Chicago Board of Option Exchange.

On Wednesday, March 14th, Michigan Tech’s Finance Club traveled down to Chicago for a whirlwind tour of financial organizations. Their first stop? The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) for a tour of their trading floor.

Students were able to go down on the floor of the exchange and get right next to the pits where they were trading securities with the old open outcry method.

Club President, Dan Eskola noted “It was a great experience to get down on the floor and see the open outcry auction pits trading. Many of these jobs have disappeared due to more efficient computer based trading and so it is good to see them before they go away.”

After the tour the group ventured to Peak 6– a proprietary trading company– where they had lunch.  The students had the opportunity to speak with the Chief Technology Officer, Danny Rosenthall, and one of the head traders.

Finance club members were able to view their impressive trading room located in the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) building.  Students were grateful to speak with these professionals who explained their business in honest, frank language.  The trip is an excellent opportunity for students to understand careers suitable for finance and accounting majors as well as ask questions about the financial industry.

The group also toured the Chicago Mercantile Exchange during their trip, where a lot of the financial transactions take place for commodities. “It was a great experience to see both of their huge trading floors as well as the fixed income securities,”  added Eskola.

This trip was organized by the Finance Club that is advised by Assistant Professor of Finance, Howard Qi, in the School of Business and Economics.

Michigan Tech Students Break for Silicon Valley

While many college students spent their spring break on sandy beaches, Michigan Tech students escaped 130 inches of snow (a mild winter) to tour high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Thanks to Brocade, which sponsored the trip, the Michigan Tech students immersed themselves in all things tech as they toured several leading companies. A Michigan Tech alumnus, Dave House, is on the board of directors at Brocade. The students arrived Monday and began with a tour of Kyocera and Autodesk.

“The trip has been eye-opening for the types of industries that are really booming,” said Kelsey Waugh, a materials science and engineering major. “It’s giving us a picture of where corporate America is heading.

Eli Karttunen, an economics major, agreed. “We saw a diverse array of successful companies with different management styles. It showed us what is possible for our future career opportunities.”

Touring google with Michigan Tech alumnae, Danielle VanDyke.

Cisco Systems and Plug and Play were toured before a meeting with another alum, Danielle VanDyke ’06 at Google and a visit to Brocade in San Jose, finishing the high-tech portion of their whirlwind tour.

“Seeing the different atmospheres and productivity showed me what companies do to support creative, productive engineers and employees in their working environment,” said electrical engineering major Josh Lehman. “This trip gave us the opportunity to see and network with west coast companies.

As the trip’s exclusive sponsor, Brocade wrapped up the students’ week-long Silicon Valley Spring Break Experience with an executive panel discussion, data center tour, and hosted a networking social where students were able to interact with Brocade employees, including reps from human resources, some with immediate opportunities for these top students.

The students also toured the Computer History Museum in Mountain View before flying back to the snow banks of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a redeye at midnight Friday, to continue preparing to make a little high-tech history of their own some day.

Their California adventure wasn’t all tech-related—another Michigan Tech alumnus, Tom Porter, arranged a tour of his Porter Creek Vineyard led by his son, Tim, in the Napa Valley, Cal. area. The 17,000 square foot underground wine cave is unusually sophisticated with an environment completely controllable by iPad. Tim Porter toured the students through the technological complex and hosted a social gathering in the cave itself.

At Porter Family Vineyards, owned by Tom Porter a Michigan Tech alumnus.

The late Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics Professor Bob Mark started the Silicon Valley trip last year. The 2012 trip was organized by the School of Business and Economics and the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement. View more photos from the trip on Facebook.

And the Survey Says . . . Or Does It?

MBA student, Tao Guo

As part of our modern culture, people are inundated with questions regarding their personal opinions and experiences. College students, in particular, often experience the brunt of these inquiries. During their college careers, students may fill out countless surveys regarding their personal interests, classes, professors, and even some for their educational institution.

What if the information collected during these surveys isn’t always reliable? Should college students be surveyed in the same manner as non-students?

As a Michigan Tech MBA student, Tao Guo asked these questions while working as a research assistant. This inquiry led to a research project and a refereed paper presentation at the 2010 Marketing Management Association Fall Educators’ Conference in Indianapolis.

The paper, “The Effect of Rating Scales on Systematic Differences Between Students and Nonstudents in Survey Research,” was written with help from Junhong Min, assistant professor of marketing, and the late Bob Mark, professor of practice.

“Tao came to me with a question about using surveys in consumer research that kept leading to more questions. His enthusiasm and dedication to this project led to the honor of presenting at the conference. We’re very pleased with his work,” notes Min.

Guo’s initial research found two divergent views exist about the usefulness of college students as subjects. One stream of research questions the use of student samples, while the other shows no difference between student samples and nonstudent samples. Guo tried to fill this gap by examining when the differences between student samples and nonstudent samples occur.

Tackling a common practice found in consumer research studies that survey college students, Guo took a closer look at the use of scales. When examining data from student assessment surveys, he found that either a five-point scale or a seven-point scale was typically used. Both of these scales are employed to measure how strongly the subject agrees with a survey statement. His results empirically illustrate how the five-point scale is more effective at capturing the differences between student and nonstudent samples. In addition, Guo discovered that behavior-related questions (e.g., frequency, the number of purchases) are more sensitive to differences between students and nonstudents than attitude questions (e.g., willingness to purchase, perceived importance).

“The research suggests to the practitioners that they should interpret their results with caution when student samples are involved,” says Guo.

Guo researched the subject for five months. The opportunity to present his paper was a notable achievement for a student, since most presenters at the conference were professional business educators from universities across the nation.

“The professor hosting my section was very excited about my findings and gave me a lot of suggestions for further research,” he said. “I learned a lot by listening to others’ presentations and established several new connections with MBA students and faculty from other universities.”

Guo is from Zhoukou, a small town in Henan Province in central China. He attended Northeastern University in Shenyang, China, where he majored in English and minored in finance. Before coming to the US, he worked for four years at Northeastern University, including a position as deputy director of the Engineer Training Center.

“I came to realize the value of higher education and overseas experience after I interacted with several very successful scholars and corporate executives,” says Guo. “That’s why I made up my mind to switch my career and pursue an MBA degree in America.”

Support from faculty was important to Guo. “I have really appreciated the broad range and depth of interests of the faculty in the School of Business and Economics. Other than professors Min and Mark, I also worked on an independent study with Assistant Professor Maria Schutte. Every time you feel like you have a question or you want to learn something, you can always find the right professor. And they are all willing to help.”

Because of Guo’s research and his successful student career at Tech, he has been accepted into the PhD program in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. “I am very grateful to Michigan Tech for the opportunity to do research as an MBA student and for my educational experience in general. It was an overall great learning experience and will be very beneficial to me in my future endeavors.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.

DECA Chapter Attends State Conference

Members of Michigan Tech's DECA Chapter at 2012 conference.

During the first weekend in February, the Michigan Tech DECA chapter made their way to Battle Creek, MI for the State Career Development Conference.  DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.  

Being the only chapter from the Upper Peninsula, it was a long 10 hour drive, but well worth it.  Competing in various events, four of the six participating members took away medals and plaques!

Michigan Tech Award Winners:

Brittany Barry, a third year Accounting major took 3rd place in the accounting competition.

Sarah Ochs and Gilbert Ramirez, third year marketing majors, both received medals, and were finalists for Marketing Management.

Cory Rokes, 5th year marketing and management major received a medal being a finalist in sales management.

Thank you to all who participated.  Way to represent our school, we couldn’t be more proud!  You are a testament that student’s from Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics can apply all the necessary business skills they learn in the classroom into real-world scenarios.

From Students: Michigan Tech is a Learning Playground….

Meet Danielle and Don. Both are students in the School of Business and Economics with different goals, ambitions and experiences. Danielle came to Michigan Tech for the outdoors and Don for his career goals. Hear from them why they chose Michigan Tech and what you have to look forward to as a student.

Danielle Boettger

“The Keweenaw is a playground for people like me. There are people here to help you if you haven’t experienced outdoor adventures before. It’s also one of the reasons I came here.”

[youtube width=”425″ height=”260″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pe0ANNPjAM[/youtube]

 

Donald Murray

“Being able to manage an investment portfolio as a senior is one of those opportunities you won’t have at every other school.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfPRPaE5rtg[/youtube]