It seemed like just yesterday that campus was green and the sun was shining–wait, that was yesterday. Even with a relatively mild fall as a distraction, the students in the School of Business and Economics have been busy making significant advances in their own professional development, marketing savvy, and knowledge conquests. Reflect back with us as we review a few of the best class projects from the Fall 2012 semester at Michigan Tech.
On-Site Company Research for Finance Competition at Perrigo
In late November, four students in the Applied Portfolio Management Program traveled to Perrigo, the largest manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in the United States, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. This competition brings students, publicly traded companies, and industry investment professionals together to promote hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.
Anna Paul, Jessica Zaiki, Mike Harry, and Justin Wilson took part in the investor relations meeting and talked to Perrigo’s CFO, Judy Brown, about financial decision making and analysis within the company. The students will now take the information and compile financial forecasting to present at a competition against five other schools at Western Michigan in February.
“This trip made learning about the actual company so much easier than pulling information from the website,” said Paul. “It’s nice to see that a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry cares about the local community and not about cutting corners.”
This is the first year that Michigan Tech was able to take part in this competition thanks to the support given to APMP by Jim and Dolores Trethewey.
Management Information Systems Students Team Up with Blue Terra Energy
Emily Jensen, Rachel Plafchan, and Seth Stever worked closely with Blue Terra Energy LLC, a local energy company in Hancock, to develop a usable database system as part of an upper-division management and information systems class. Assistant Professor in Management Information Systems (MIS), Haiyan Huang, orchestrated the curriculum to include this experiential learning opportunity.
“The goal was to streamline the data collection, organization, updating, reporting, and analysis processes for the company,” she added.
Working closely with client Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy and ’93 Mechanical Engineering alum, students were able to create a workable database with customized customer fields, inputs, and sorting that will keep projects running smoothly.
“I have been very uneasy about our data and the cost to maintain it. I am very excited about the system the students developed and it has great potential,” said Camps. “This system is really going to help us a lot to track customers, schedules and orders. It will allow us to move forward more aggressively. I am eager to get this implemented on our server.”
Finance U: Educates Michigan Tech Students about Financial Literacy
During December, the Michigan Tech Finance Club, in partnership with the Michigan Tech Office of Financial Aid, held the first FinanceU educational event at the J.R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library. Aimed at fostering financial literacy on campus, the event was specifically tailored to students, regardless of class and major. Finance Club members offered personal consultations and information related to personal finance, financial aid opportunities, the upcoming FAFSA for 2013-14, and useful tips on how to benefit from CashCourse – a free online personal finance program sponsored by the Alumni Association.
“Since last May, this fantastic group of students and financial aid representatives have been working together on organizing and developing content to make FinanceU as effective and fun as possible for everyone, regardless of class and major,” said Finance Club Advisor, Dr. Emanuel Oliveira. “Now it is time to learn from this first experience and the 69 questionnaires we were able to collect from students concerning their demographics and financial habits. Ultimately, the goal is to make FinanceU an annual financial literacy event on campus though we are also seriously considering the feasibility of holding it every semester. We sincerely believe that all participants have something to win from this.”
A Leaner Meaner Brand: Students Report on Subway’s Marketing
Amber Campbell, Michael Bennet, Joel Vertin, and Qin Xu developed a marketing plan to improve the brand of Subway in both America and China. As part of the MBA Marketing, Technology, and Globalization course taught by Assistant Professor of Marketing Soonkwan Hong, the team worked together to present a compelling case for change. The final presentation is available on the School of Business and Economics YouTube channel.
Marketing for Local Businesses: Gitzen Company
Students in Assistant Professor of Marketing Jun Min’s Business-to-Business marketing course provide marketing consulting for local companies. This student consulting project was designed to apply knowledge of marketing theories in a real business context, evaluate the practices of the client company, and develop an advertising strategy for potential customers.
A team of students including Angela Barr, Kaylee Betzinger, Chyanne Knudsen, Samantha Robbins, Christina Ruth, and Sarah Vadnais put together a strategy that included a commercial (above) for Gitzens Company that provides food products such as candy and snacks and operates out of Houghton, Michigan.