Senior business projects: 100% real
October 19, 2009
Senior business students are entering the professional realm, according to Jon Meyers, who is currently serving as the Dean of Business. Corban Consulting Partners, as the semester-long capstone project is now called, will still involve teams of seniors analyzing business issues, but all teams will now deliver their recommendations to real community businesses.
“We’re swinging for the fences this year,” said Meyers.
In the past, the seniors have developed well-researched yet fictitious plans; however, about half of the teams last year had the opportunity to do real consultations. Meyers said, “Working with real businesses builds confidence in our graduates that there’s no better business degree than what they’ve received from Corban.”
Corban Consulting Partners 2010 will have two competitive teams paired with each of the following businesses: the Fresh Start Market & Coffeehouse, a Marion County alternative program for juveniles and a participator in last year’s consultations; the Statesman Journal, the largest Mid-Willamette Valley news service; the Salem–Keizer Volcanoes, Class-A affiliates of the San Francisco Giants; and Reruns for Kids, a supporting business for Family Building Blocks in preventing child abuse.
As the teams try to out-strategize the opposing consultant for the honor of best recommendations, the Salem-area businesses also benefit. The recommendations may very well be implemented when all is said and done. Faye Fagel, Director of Marion County Juvenile Department said that she was a “satisfied customer” with last year’s project and has implemented several of the recommendations already.
Students will also gain wisdom by working directly with experienced professionals. Meyers explained that each team will be partnered with a “coach” from the community business world. Additionally, business leaders are being recruited for the judges’ panel for presentation day.
A recent luncheon hosted by Corban’s business department featured successful business leader Dick Withnell, Meyers, Fagel, and several 2009 alumni who participated in the consultations last spring. After learning more about the business program and hearing the accounts, all 14 business guests signed on to help as a coach or a judge.
Meyers said the luncheon and recruitment of local business experts was an important step in achieving the department’s goal of “providing a practical education that makes a real difference in the community.”
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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