Students in the School of Business and Economics take the University’s motto very seriously. Here’s what they did during the Fall 2012 semester to Create the Future:
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, 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 took the information and compiled 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.”
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. Haiyan Huang, assistant professor in management information systems (MIS), designed 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 Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy and 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."
FinanceU 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 nance, financial aid opportunities, the upcoming FAFSA for 2013–14, and useful tips on how to benefit from CashCourse, a free online personal nance program sponsored by the Alumni Association.
“Since last May, this fantastic group of students and financial aid representatives has 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 Emanuel Oliveira. “Now it is time to learn from this first experience and the questionnaires we collected 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.”
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 task of trying to reinvigorate the brand image and marketing campaign for a large company, like Subway, really required us to use all of the skills and knowledge that we developed throughout the semester,” said Vertin. "The project went well. It was a valuable learning experience and I know that I was able to immediately apply some of the concepts to my professional life.”
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 including a commercial for the Gitzen Company, which provides wholesale food products like candy and snacks and operates out of Houghton.
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 Google AdSense. 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 impressed with the quality and detail of the work.
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.