Collegiate Deca at Michigan Tech
Collegiate DECA is back and bigger than ever at Michigan Tech! An inspiring group of impassioned students active in the business organization during high school led the mission to reinvigorate DECA on campus. Points of pride from their first year include six students competing and placing at the state competition in Kalamazoo and four students competing in the national conference in Baltimore, with two earning a top-10 placement.
Outstanding Students In Business
Since 2021, Prout has held an internship with Rukkila, Negro, and Associates, an accounting firm located in downtown Houghton. After earning her BS in Accounting with a minor in FinTech, Prout plans to take advantage of Tech’s accelerated MS in Accounting program before earning her CPA license to work in tax advising and preparation.
Hillary Prout applied her leadership and communications skills as the student representative
of the Michigan Association of CPAs, a professional organization promoting and enhancing
the value of the CPA profession, and of the Becker CPA Review, a software package
that helps students prepare for the certified public accountant and certified management
In her four years at Michigan Tech, Prout, who calls Rosebush, Michigan, home, held the presidential role in the University’s accounting club, Kappa Sigma Iota, and served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council. She was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, the exclusive business honor society affiliated with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. She also assisted other Tech students with tax preparation through the College of Business’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
During his first year on campus, scholar-athlete Nathan Sodini (dual major in engineering management and finance) landed a paid internship as a production supervisor at General Motors’ (GM’s) HeavyDuty Truck Plant. His second year, Sodini took on a co-op with GM as a quality-operations supervisor, tasked with controlling the daily quality of T1 HD trucks with his team of more than 40 employees.
Sodini then obtained a motor sports internship with Hagerty back in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, and during fall 2021 was back at GM in the body shop, orchestrating the procurement of pre-assembled trucks to support the Oshawa launch. He served for two years each as elected president of the Society of Automotive Engineers student chapter and as business manager of the Advanced Motor sports Enterprise—Formula SAE. For his final college summer, Sodini headed south to General Motors Defense in North Carolina where, as a business manager/shift leader co-op, he supported the production management of the Infantry Squad Vehicle being produced for the United States Army.
Sodini says: “A business degree from Michigan Tech is more than coursework. It’s an experience preparing strategic leaders for tomorrow’s challenges.”
The Sam Tidwell Outstanding Business
awards are presented annually to two current
College of Business students who embody
a dedication to academics, leadership,
and extracurricular involvement within the
Michigan Tech community.
Huskies Earn First In International Competition
College of Business students won first place in the Quinnipiac University Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum XI portfolio competition—Undergraduate Value Portfolio division. The students—Carissa Beyer, Kyle Clow, Ben Diercks, Brette Eychner, Brandon Malburg, Tyler Sepanik, and Irene Trierwieler—are members of the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) and competed virtually representing Team Gold. Michigan Tech’s APMP is one of the few in the nation that gives students full investment control, managing real money without a safety net.
Huskies Stayed True to Investment Policy
During the year-long competition, Huskies were challenged to analyze factors including
the economy, cash flow, earnings, and cashflow-based valuations, and to identify intrinsic
value and mispriced assets. Joel Tuoriniemi, a professor of practice in accounting
who co-instructs APMP, says the winning team was consistent in applying their philosophy
in a dynamic investing environment. Student portfolio manager Carissa Beyer reports
that from May 2021 to May 2022, there was a $55,000 increase in the portfolio. “The
gold team considered the impacts on
portfolio holdings due to macro-level events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and the war in Ukraine,” Tuoriniemi says, adding that the students positioned the portfolio with low-duration
bonds and defensive equities.
Tech’s Applied Portfolio Management Program
Each year, Michigan Tech students are selected to lead APMP for one calendar year, managing more than $2 million in real money in US stock and bond markets. Students are chosen based on demonstrated aptitude and leadership skills in the area of finance, accounting, and financial economic theory.
Finance Club Inaugural Stock Competition
Michigan Tech Finance Club hosted a stock competition open to all College of Business majors and minors. Each of the participants received $100,000 in virtual dollars to use on the Investopedia simulator. The top three portfolios received cash prizes from the COB Dean’s Office.
First place $500—Madison Mattila (accounting major with data analytics concentration)
“I really enjoyed the competition! It was fun to compete against classmates. It also was valuable to spend time watching the market and using the simulator. I’ve been working on a strategy for a while, which I’ve yet to perfect, so I don’t want to share too much about it right now."
Second place $300—James Zuzelski (economics minor)
“This was an amazing experience. It motivated me to try new things. My strategy was to capitalize on medium- to high-risk stocks that were trending due to current and near-future geopolitical factors. Due to the short time frame I went with a high-risk, low-diversity, individual stock portfolio.”
Third place $200—Bill Rautiola (finance major)
“I consider myself an experienced trader, having done a fair amount of trading on my own. My strategy for this game was to invest in energy sectors, including oil. I also placed a couple option trades.”
Tomorrow Needs Accounting At Michigan Tech
The designation of certified public accountant (CPA) paired with a master’s degree in accounting has the highest job and salary potential within the accounting field. Measured against peers, Michigan Tech accounting students earn the second-highest CPA pass rates in the nation and achieve the highest average score. The personal attention our MS in Accounting students receive from faculty leads to our 100 percent job placement rate with an average starting salary of $71,000. Huskies pursuing the accelerated master’s in accounting can earn their degree in as few as 10 months. mtu.edu/business/graduate/accounting
About the MTU Finance Club
The Finance Club at Michigan Tech promotes the interest in and knowledge of the field
of finance. Members have access to career development opportunities, guest speakers,
guidance from Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) members, and resources within
the APMP Lab. In addition, club members take annual trips to
visit financial practices, the Federal Reserve, and major investment firms.
Xin Li is Teacher of the Year
During his first year as assistant professor of finance in the College of Business, Xin Li was named by students as the COB Teacher of the Year. Li supports students as advisor to the Finance Club, in addition to instructing Principles of Finance; Advanced Financial Management; and Risk Management and FinTech. More than 80 COB students submitted instruction evaluation responses. Here are a few of their praises about Li: “It is a special experience to be in a class with a professor who clearly loves what they are doing.” “Dr. Li asks us to bring in outside opinions, so we can diversify our abilities.” “FIN 3000 is not easy, but Dr. Li helps students understand difficult concepts to really excel.” “He has a very logical way of teaching material and it has helped the content click for me.” “Dr. Li expressed his confidence in me ahead of the final exam.”
Mari Buche, College of Business associate dean and MIS faculty, shared her expertise during the Women in IT panel discussion as part of the first-ever Computing Showcase on campus. Her advice to women in the field? “Hold the mic a little longer. Make eye contact and make sure that your voice is connected with the idea.”
Mickus Endowed Faculty Fellow
Sonia Goltz, professor of organizational behavior in the College of Business, is the inaugural Mickus Faculty Fellow. The fellowship was created through an estate gift from Albert J. and Rosella J. Mickus to attract, reward, and retain highly talented faculty in the area of societal impact as it relates to business. Goltz is a co-principal investigator of Michigan Tech’s ADVANCE grant, which promotes faculty career development and gender equity in STEM. She was a recipient of Michigan Tech’s Diversity Award in 2021 and was an active advocate, based on research data, in creating Michigan Tech’s Diversity Literacy Program. Goltz also serves on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging (DEIS) Positive Action Team. For Goltz, the designation will help deepen her scholarly work on defining coercion and freedom within psychology and business, continuing to impact the field of behavior analysis. The funding will also be directed to campus initiatives that promote business skill development and those that support efforts at Michigan Tech, specifically those that directly benefit student development activities, organizations, and internships.
Business Faculty Earn Awards For Excellence In Teaching
Two College of Business faculty members—Jeff Wall, associate professor of management information systems (MIS), and Sheila Milligan, associate teaching professor of accounting—received the Provost’s Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes faculty who have been nominated as finalists for the Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award four or more times.
New Venture Challenge Award Winners
First place Social Mission—$10,000
Bayle Golden, master’s in engineering management student, created SafeROW, an innovative wearable device designed to keep children safe when every second counts.
First place Two-Minute Pitch—$4,000
Construction management student Jakob Christiansen presented ProBoard, an e-commerce platform to solve issues in the construction material supply chain.
Third place High Tech High Growth—$2,000
Management information systems student Jordan Craven pitched Tall and Small Designs, a technology company that provides software to online clothing retailers.
Summer Internship Highlights, Marketing Student Edition
Jaylen Body, Cedar Point
As a Cedar Point Workforce Management intern, Body was responsible for ensuring adequate staffing at park locations. The management and marketing dual major from Warren, Michigan, generated the workforce schedules in accordance with staff availability and the labor needs of the Ohio-based park. He says the most rewarding aspect of his role was working with fellow managers to resolve issues and help execute schedules that incentivized associates so that they continued their season.
Summer Youth Programs—Explorations in Business
This past summer, 20 middle and high school students attended Summer Youth Programs (SYP) led by COB faculty, staff, and alumnus Dan Green. Middle school students explored how to “Be Your Own Boss” through team sales, marketing, budgeting, design thinking, and developing an elevator pitch, while high schoolers participated in trading exercises and created their own portfolios during the exploration “Stock Market with Blizzard: Turn $1,000 into $1 Million!” Discover more and sign up: mtu.edu/syp
Acts of service are a natural fit for our Huskies.
Management major Anna Nault spent the afternoon with an Alaskan Malamute residing at the Copper Country Humane Society.
Maggie Zimmermann and Calli Daavettila, REL Inc.
With support from their faculty mentor, Junhong Min, associate professor of marketing,
Tech business students Zimmermann and Daavettila, who both call Metro Detroit home,
landed summer jobs with high-tech equipment manufacturer REL Inc. Based in Calumet,
Michigan, the output of REL’s work can be found in manufacturing facilities across
the globe. For more than 25 years, REL has been the OEM of choice for the manufacturing
needs of industries— from small machine shops to leading-edge aerospace project deployments.
During their internship, the Huskies integrated a geolocation application into an
database. The application serves as a pivotal tool used in REL’s business travel and introduced the interns to the layered complexities of user-interface design (UI). In addition, they identified, researched, and recorded future sales opportunities. Zimmermann says, “I loved being able to apply everything I’ve learned from Michigan Tech in database management and market research. I love data management and structures and seeing my classes come to life on the job has been extraordinary!” Daavettila adds that she benefited from hands-on experience using effective research methods, transforming data into organized visuals, and communicating with her colleagues.
Ryan Stafford, Superior National Bank
Stafford, a marketing major, transitioned to a full-time internship at Superior National Bank based in Hancock, Michigan, over the summer. He was responsible for their newsletter and many other event communications. Understanding the brand and infusing it through all customer-facing touch-points was a cornerstone of the role. From Minneapolis, Minnesota, Stafford feels he gained valuable insight into what’s required for impactful marketing and communications, saying, “This internship experience has been extremely beneficial to my professional development.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.