Corban seniors stride into the real world of business
April 27, 2010
As part of their senior capstone course called “Corban Consulting Partners,” 29 business students performed real-life consultations for community businesses. On April 22, the teams of seniors pitched their final recommendations in front of a panel of judges as they competed to be named the top strategic consultant for their respective client.
Among those participating as judges were Mayor Janet Taylor, civic leader Gerry Frank, and Commissioner Patti Milne.
Four clients participated this year: the Fresh Start Market, a coffee shop run by the Marion County Juvenile Department; the Statesman Journal; the Salem–Keizer Volcanoes baseball club, a Class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants; and Jennifer Harris, a missionary in Peru who is engaged in microfinance.
Dean of Business Jon Meyers explained, “Corban Consulting Partners was set up as a competition because these students are about to enter the ‘real world,’ and in the real world, there is real competition.”
Kacie Emerick (Bellevue, Wash.), lead communicator for one of the teams consulting for the Volcanoes, noted the real-world pressure accompanying an undertaking of this nature: “This project has definitely been one of the most stressful situations I’ve ever been in, but it’s also been one of the most rewarding, and that’s because of the networks we’ve created.”
Corban Consulting Partners was designed to give students lots of interaction with Salem’s business gurus.
Meyers elaborated, “We wanted to provide as much opportunity as possible to rub shoulders with the ‘movers and shakers’ of the Salem business community and to learn from them. So we also assigned each team a coach, or, a professional business person who would mentor them through this process.”
Diane McLaran of the Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry coached a team: “It was my honor to work with these students. They motivated themselves.”
Between presentations on April 22, clients, coaches, judges, and CCP students shared a dinner, providing yet another networking goldmine for students. In the short program that followed, Corban President Reno Hoff thanked the judges, coaches, and clients for volunteering and investing in the students’ education.
Clients, perhaps, received the biggest payoff from their investment: the equivalent of two professional consultations for the price of — free (though students did log their hours and “bill” hypothetically).
Josh Warner, of the winning Volcanoes’ consultant team, said, “We easily logged 400 hours between the four of us.”
Jerry Howard, vice president of marketing for the Salem–Keizer Volcanoes baseball club, said the students’ hard work was very beneficial to his company. He reported, “With one exception, our full-time employees are between the ages of 52 and 68, so we didn’t grow up with social networking. One of the most valuable things we’ve gained from this experience is to know the impact of social networking, through statistics, on communicating with the younger generation.”
To learn more about the business department at Corban, email Dean Meyers at email@example.com or call 503-589-8125.
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
503-375-7005 | firstname.lastname@example.org