Tag Archives: Applied Portfolio Management Program

What happened this semester? Fall 2012 Student Project Round-up.

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.

APMP students, Anna Paul, Jessica Zaiki, Mike Harry, and Justin Wilson met with Perrigo's CFO to discuss corporate financial decision making.

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

Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy, LLC, pictured with Emily Jensen, Rachel Plafchan, and Seth Stever, students in MIS 4100.

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

First FinanceU Event hosted at Michigan Tech. A partnership between the Finance Club and the Office of Financial Aid.

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

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yupfjG_s1CU[/youtube]

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.

Digital Marketing for ShareBliss.com

ShareBliss.com is a new website that combines features from popular social sites, such as Pinterest and Sharethis, and integrates online advertising by using Googles Ad Sense. While ShareBliss.com is a live site, the founders are completing beta testing and needed digital marketing advice for their formal launch.  Instructor Cindy McColley’s Digital Marketing class completed projects and sent them to the ShareBliss.com founders who were thrilled to obtain thoughts and insights from the Michigan Tech students; and they were impressed with the quality and detail of the work.

View the ShareBliss.com digital marketing projects from Lindsee Willis and Alexander Alsobrooks.


Students Take Bloomberg Aptitude Test

While most students had already left Houghton in the rearview following five days of finals, 22 School of Business and Economics students gathered for yet one more exam. The Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT) was developed in collaboration with financial professionals, recruiters, and academics to uncover knowledge and skills relevant for a financial career.

“Bloomberg already provided students with Bloomberg Certification in the use of the Bloomberg terminal.  Now Bloomberg has strengthed its commitment to students achievement through the BAT,” said James and Dolores Trethewey APMP Professor Dean Johnson. “The BAT allows Bloomberg to bring prospective employers together with skilled investment students.”

Over thirty five thousand people around the world have completed this proctored exam, specifically designed for people who are interested in working with investments. The 165-question exam covers topics ranging from financial statement analysis to portfolio management, ethics, and logic in a three-hour period.

Brent Halonen, a 2011-2012 member of the Applied Portfolio Management Program achieved a notable accomplishment by placing among the top 525 (1.5%) test takers. “The BAT is was a good opportunity to show the world what we learned in school in a unbiased environment,” said Brent. “I think my results reflect the strength of APMP and the educational opportunity that it represents.”

Congratulations to Brent and the rest of the test takers.


Celebrating a Special Teacher, His Students, and Alumni

Dean Johnson with Dee and Jim Trethewey.

A packed MUB Ballroom was a testament to Dean Johnson, the James ’67 and Delores Trethewey APMP Professor in the School of Business and Economics, his students, and the couple who have endowed his professorship.

At the reception, it was a family affair, too, as Johnson’s home life was acknowledged, first by President Glenn Mroz. Johnson’s family was present, and they were given credit for helping Johnson establish the program twelve years ago. The endowed professorship was a great reflection on all of Michigan Tech, Mroz added.

Dean Darrell Radson agreed, stating that as great as the Applied Portfolio Management Program was in terms of marketing and public knowledge of the School and University, it was the impact on the students that truly mattered.

“Great business schools are always part of great universities,” Radson said. “And endowing the professorship is an important step toward greatness.”

James Trethewey said, as he thought about the day, he thought about honoring our heroes like Johnson, and authenticity.

“I looked up ‘authentic,’” he said. “And it talked about being original, trustworthy, and sincere, and that is certainly Dean. This greatness at Tech comes from everyone, too. Great leadership like Glenn, great staff, great people, including everyone in this room.”

Thus, we salute our hero, Trethewey said.

Johnson spoke on the history of the APMP: from three volunteers to more than 300 students overall; from an excursion of a golf outing to NASDAQ and Chicago Mercantile visits; from a “scholarship” of a pizza dinner to all the APMP students operating on real scholarships; from a little room in the basement to a sparkling new LSGI Trading Room with a $25,000 per year Bloomberg terminal.

“It’s really about coming full circle,” Johnson said. “Sam Tidwell changed Jim’s life, and now he and Delores are changing the lives of students.”

The ceremony continued with a plethora of student testimonials, read by Ted Simonsen ’07, who works for Ameriprise Financial locally and was representing his APMP brothers and sisters and all the students touched by Johnson.

“As much as I appreciate his teachings about investments,” Simonsen said, in his own testimonial, “it was his way of connecting with students on a personal level that meant even more. He takes the time to get to know all of his students, and I use that great example every day.”

Graduating APMP students Ann Dancy and Todd Storm, fittingly, were the last to speak. They reinforced impact that this teacher, alumnus, and program have had them, as the ceremony ended and the family of Tech celebrated heroes past, present, and future.


Class of 2011 Rocks Deloitte

Danielle Linna (left) and Theresa Laubrick secured jobs with Deloitte LLP before their spring 2011 graduation.

In a time when graduates are struggling to find jobs, two recent School of Business and Economics alumni have secured positions at the world’s largest accounting company, Deloitte LLP. Danielle Linna and Theresa Laubrick, who graduated this spring, earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting, double majored in finance, and graduated summa cum laude. While some time off from their impressive academic accomplishments would be expected, instead they studied for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and started positions with the company in fall 2011.

Danielle Linna: Passion for Accounting

Danielle Linna found her passion for accounting in high school. “I took an accounting class my junior year and fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve known it’s what I want to do with my life.”

As a student, Linna was heavily involved in organizations across campus. She furthered her business experience in organizations such as the International Business Ventures enterprise and the accounting club Kappa Sigma Iota, and she also completed the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP). As a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, the First Year Experience, and the Michigan Tech Dance Team, Linna rounded out her education and built connections across campus.

Linna believes that her wide range of experience and work with engineers and technology students gave her a competitive advantage over other applicants for her position. “Working with people from different backgrounds allowed me to develop a flexible communication skill set, which will be helpful when dealing with clients.”

This fall, Linna started her position as a staff auditor in Deloitte’s Accounting and Auditing Group in Milwaukee. With a minor in German and an interest in international
accounting, she hopes to participate in a program at Deloitte that will allow her to work for two years at one of the company’s international branches. “I want to make
an impact on national and international accounting standards and financial procedures,” she said.

Theresa Laubrick: Hard Work Pays Off

With a double major in accounting and finance and a minor in music and the Enterprise program, Theresa Laubrick shouldered an undergraduate course load that would make a less motivated student collapse. Far from being overwhelmed, she added on as many extracurricular activities as possible. “Students can use the experience they gain from campus involvement and apply it to their futures and careers,” she said.

During her years at Michigan Tech, Laubrick was a member of Kappa Sigma Iota, participated in Concordia Student Ministries, and served as the CFO for the Aerospace Enterprise. She also worked as a writing coach and teaching assistant in the Michigan Tech Multiliteracies Center, citing the experience as an important factor in her personal and professional development.

In her position with Deloitte, Laubrick blends her love of working with people and her technical interests. At the company’s Detroit branch, she works in the Tax Department’s Research and Development Credit Group, where she is responsible for data analysis, write-ups, and generating the tax credit for clients with large R&D
programs, including engineering firms.

In the coming years, Laubrick hopes to shape her career according to words of wisdom from Stephen W. Gilman, the founder of the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma: “Success is not to be measured by income but by influence, not by power but by personality, not by capital but by character.”

Hats off to Danielle and Theresa for passing the CPA in summer and fall of 2011.

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


Tretheweys Create Endowed Professorship for Portfolio Management Program

James (Jim) Trethewey cites Tech's unique culture as one reason for the generosity he and his wife, Dee, display toward the University.

James and Dolores Trethewey have established a new endowed professorship in Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics.

With a $1.16 million gift commitment, the couple is underwriting the James and Dolores Trethewey APMP Professorship. The inaugural recipient is Associate Professor Dean Johnson, founding director of the Applied Portfolio Management Program.

The gift supports the hands-on, real-life investment program that Johnson launched in 1998 with the Tretheweys’ backing. Finance students manage an investment portfolio of approximately $1.2 million with funds provided by a number of donors through the Michigan Tech Fund.

“This is a great and unexpected honor,” Johnson said. “I already owe them so much. Jim and Dee’s support from the first day I proposed the APMP was key to its starting. And, they have also entrusted APMP students with managing their scholarship funds for years.”

Mr. Trethewey graduated from Michigan Tech in 1967 with a BS in Business Administration. He spent most of his professional career at Cleveland-Cliffs, now Cliffs Natural Resources, retiring in 2007 as senior vice president for business development. The family devised the professorship to promote the APMP, he said, but there are many reasons for their support of Michigan Tech.

“Do you give because of the great administration and leadership exemplified by [University President] Glenn and Gail Mroz, who seem to give every waking moment to Tech?” Trethewey asked. “Or because deans like Darrell Radson and Gene Klippel before him built successful new programs? Or do you give because you have professors like Dean Johnson who have a dream and a vision and the fortitude to carry them out? Or, do you give because you have great students who bring these programs to national prominence?

“Or, is it the Tech culture, which is unique: hard work, ethics, creativity and intellect, all rolled into one? There’s an aura about Michigan Tech. It’s a special place.”

All those things matter, he said, but the impetus behind the Tretheweys’ giving can be summarized by two questions: 1. Did Michigan Tech improve your career and add to the standard of living of your entire family? 2. Do you have the desire and capability to give?

“The answer to both is a resounding yes,” said Trethewey. “Which leaves us with three more questions: How, when and how much?”

“When” is relatively easy. Tech is included in the Tretheweys’ estate plan, but they are also providing substantial annual cash gifts to support the APMP. “We wanted to see the fruits of our labors,” he explained.

“How” and “how much” are a little more complicated. “It’s like going into Walmart for a quart of milk and later coming out with $200 of packages,” he said. “We haven’t quite got our arms around our giving. I think we’re still mulling it around in the aisles of Walmart.”

Johnson is thrilled that the Tretheweys have pulled the APMP off the shelf. “It gives us a permanent source of funding,” he said. “I’d been scratching my chin, wondering how we were going to pay for student travel, with the stock market way down.”

APMP students travel for national investment competitions and, as top finishers, were once invited to open the New York Stock Exchange. Among their other destinations, they also visit the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and attend Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Neb.

“And we also give them scholarships,” Johnson said. “To fund all this has been a struggle, but now to have Dee and Jim recognize that need and meet it is just amazing.

“It’s also very humbling to have somebody recognize my dream and give it such incredible support,” Johnson added. “I’ve just been doing what I thought was the right thing to do: educate students.”

For the Tretheweys, that’s what their gift is all about. “When you pass through the halls of Michigan Tech, you come out with a first-class ticket to anywhere you want to go,” Trethewey said. “The route and the destination are up to the individual. And special programs like the APMP are examples of the tremendous role universities play in our society. We all have an obligation to help them.”

Trethewey is a member of the Michigan Tech Fund Board of Trustees, the Academy of Business and Economics, the APMP Advisory Board, and the School’s National Advisory Board.

Written by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer for University Marketing and Communciations.

This article was originally published on Michigan Tech News.