Category: Student Spotlight

iOme Money Smart Week Video Contest ’12

Last semester, some of Dr. Emanuel Oliveira’s students of EC3003 Macroeconomic Theory and EC4400 Banking & Financial Institutions courses participated in the 2011 iOme national competition (previous story), which tasked students with an essay and video about ways to foster personal savings in the US.

One team won Honorable Mention (and $2500) last February for the essay+video challenge—congrats again to Katie O’Connell, (economics), Adam Stigers (economics), Tianlu Shen (environmental engineering), Teddy Broe (economics), and Walker Derby (finance)—and now it is time for the video competition which is a spillover of the main competition.

All four Michigan Tech teams that participated in the 2011 iOme Challenge were selected to be in the top 10 iOme Money Smart Week Video Contest ’12, but only one can win. Please check them out and cast your vote!

Vote now for the iOme Money Smart Week Video Contest

Voting ends on Monday, April 30th!

Tech students report on ‘market leakage’

Market leakage is a growing issue for Copper Country retailers, particularly online.

That was one of the takeaways at a presentation by Michigan Technological University students at the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance meeting Wednesday. This is the second year School of Business and Economics Assistant Professor of Marketing Jun Min’s students have done the study, for which they received 71 responses.

In 13 product categories, this year’s study showed increasing market leakage in nine of them, including a 33 percent jump in electronics and office materials and 14 percent in cars. The four areas with stable and decreasing trends were household essentials, personal care products, groceries and medicine and drug.

Different areas benefitted the most from various areas of leakage. Online led for areas such as toys, clothing and telecommunications devices, while Marquette led in areas such as home improvement and outdoor living. The only area in which Green Bay absorbed the greatest market share was in automobiles, with 18.2 percent of respondents saying they had purchased a car in Green Bay.

It was a different story in services, where only four categories went up – rentals, real estate, household improvement and health/medical/dental. The largest decrease in leakage was 12 percent in airline and vacation services.

The bulk of the leakage was online, particularly in airline and vacation services, rental cars and education. Marquette’s strongest categories were restaurants and health/medical/dental. Green Bay again led in only one category: entertainment, museum and shows.

The local market trended downward in the Business Market Wellness index, which measures market attractiveness, satisfaction and recommendation.

The local market scored 3.35 out of 5, where 3 is neutral – behind online, as was the case last year, and also now behind Marquette and Green Bay. The weakest score was in market satisfaction, where the local market scored 3.06.

“That means people are attracted to our market, they like it, but they’re not satisfied,” said Tech student Cory Rokes. “This is something we want to rectify.”

Projections of future spending shows most to stay about the same, but with an edge toward online; 24 percent said they planned to spend more online in the next six months, more than twice the next highest total.

The group also conducted a separate leakage study for the Houghton County Memorial Airport. Of those surveyed, only four in 10 had used in the airport in the past year.

“The problem isn’t the market leakage, it’s promoting the airport,” said Tech student Sarah Ochs.

By GARRETT NEESE – DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

Business Intelligence Students Partner with Revenue Management Solutions

Students in Michigan Tech’s Business Intelligence class (MIS3400) spent less time hitting the books this semester and more time focused on an innovative, real-world project that was the result of an industry partnership with Revenue Management Solutions (RMS) headquartered in Tampa, Florida. In this upper-level class, the skills learned in previous courses were put to the test as five teams of students were provided access to a warehouse of test data from a simulated Michigan client. The assignment was to create meaningful business information from the mountain of data, and to formulate strategic recommendations for the coming fiscal year. And, creativity was a required element.

Before the project began, students chose critical roles within their teams – e.g. Consultant, Analyst, and/or Developer. During the final class session of the semester, the teams presented their prototypes and recommendations in person to the client liaison/RMS representative. Following the team presentations Ashley Johnson encouraged the students to seek out internships if they enjoyed the work performed in the class. She also commended the groups for communicating openly with her as a client throughout this scenario.

“You have done great work here,” said Ashley. “As you move forward in your careers, remember to add this to your resume, that you have created a data warehouse and are comfortable analyzing big data sets. This is exactly the type of work I would expect to see in my office,” said Ashley Johnson, Data Analytics Manager with RMS.

The student teams were told to approach the project as if the transactional data were collected from an actual client’s business enterprise. The two years’ worth of data were used to analyze performance in relation to the competition, item profitability, top product-drivers, etc. The expectation was that students learn database software skills including data extract/transform/load (ETL) using the SQL Server suite of applications, as well as Microsoft Visual Studio, Excel,  Access, and other Windows 7 software for completing the final proposal. This activity provided experiential learning that mirrors the work performed by IS/IT professionals in industry today. Lessons learned will be incorporated in the next course offering as we strive for continuous improvement of our innovative MIS curriculum.

Economics Major Elected USG President

Eli A. Karttunen, USG president, a senior in economics.

New members have been elected to the Executive Board of Undergraduate Student Government (USG)  for one-year appointments.  The School of Business and Economics is proud to announce that one of our own, Economics major Eli Karttuenen, has been elected to serve as president.

2012 USG members and Titles:

* Eli A. Karttunen, president, a senior in economics

* Donnie L. Palmer, vice president, a junior in chemical engineering

* Jennifer M. Zarzecki, secretary, a senior in mechanical engineering

* Abhishek Gupta, treasurer, a senior in civil engineering

As a member of the USG for the past 2 years, Eli has seen many ways in which USG could improve student life on campus by making student’s opinions heard, which is a big reason why he chose to run for president. USG is supposed to be the collective voice of students on campus.  Eli hopes improve the current relationship between students, USG, and the administration during his time as president.

When we asked Eli about his goals as president, he responded “My first priority is to improve the relationship between USG and the students. An organization only has as much influence as its constituents afford, and this is one area USG has been lacking. I know how this organization works and what students need.”

We wish Eli and the rest of the Undergraduate Student Government the best of luck in attaining and surpassing their goals during their appointments!

Michigan Tech Takes Second in Project Management Competition

On April 9th, two, four-person Michigan Tech teams traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan for A Project Management Collegiate Competition presented by The Project Management Institute, Western Michigan Chapter. Out of eight teams, Michigan Tech placed second, ousted only by Grand Valley State University for the top position. Other competitors from Aquinas College, Kalamazoo College, Davenport University, and University of Phoenix were also in attendance. The day was devoted to presentations, networking, and sharing knowledge about the future of project management.

“Our teams have been preparing over the past two semesters to present project management plans at the competition,” said Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management Dana Johnson. “Being able to use the skills and tools that students learned in class will help them prepare for their future careers.”

The student teams, along with their school, business, and PMP mentors, had to create a project management plan for a business seeking B Corporation certification. B Corps permits and protects businesses in making social and environmental decisions. Instead of being accountable only to shareholders, B Corps businesses must also consider their impact on employees, their community, and the environment.

Team A: Dani Revord, Drew Randall, Emily Jensen, and Sarah Zimmerman. This team was mentored by Ashley Livingston, PMP and Andrew Gill, PMP.

Michigan Tech’s Team A was composed of Davi Revord, Emily Jensen, Drew Randall, and Sarah Zimmerman. The A Team was mentored by Ashley Livingston, PMP and Andrew Gill, PMP. Team B was made up of Jane Koivisto, George Olszewski, Ashleigh Juday, and Samuel Eberhard and mentored by Jeff Hazy, MBA, PMP and Derek Mazurek, MBA, PMP.

“This was a wonderful experience for all of us, and we were very fortunate to place in the competition, meet our mentors, and socialize with the WMPMI board,” said Samuel Eberhard of Team B. “All of us are extremely happy we had the opportunity to compete in this competition , and we hope future Michigan Tech students take part in it.”

Team B: Samuel Eberhard, Jane Koivisto, Ashleigh Juday, and George Olszewski, Team B was mentored by Jeff Hazy, MBA, PMP and Derek Mazurek, MBA, PMP.

The event is the first collaboration between Western Michigan Project Management Institute (WMPMI), Universities, and West Michigan Business Leaders.

This trip was supported by the Michigan Tech Parents Fund and the Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute.