As part of their experiential learning this semester, upper-level business students have been presenting to a panel composed of members of SCORE, the Trinity Business Network, and other professionals in the areas of marketing, training, consulting, higher education leadership, business ownership, and web marketing. The panel is helping the students as they make hands-on decisions for various local businesses that are partnering with the class for this project.
Students in Dr. Richard Hamilton’s organizational consulting class and Professor Kyle Harkema’s marketing management class are developing marketing and strategy plans, helping with site relocation, creating social network pages, and making other recommendations for these businesses.
“The projects give students the opportunity to make real-life business decisions in the safety of an academic environment,” Harkema said.
So far, the students have had two progress meetings with the panel where they shared project updates and received suggestions from the business leaders. For the last meeting on December 6, the students will also present their final decisions to the clients.
“It has been fun to watch the students grapple and grow both with the ambiguity and complexity of the real-world projects,” Hamilton said. “Helping the students learn to interpret the standards and insights of both the business advisers and the clients has been a joy.”
The businesses typically use the plans that the students develop and sometimes create internship positions for Trinity students to help implement the plan.
Josh Schumann ’14 of Yorkville, Illinois, has been working with his group to develop a marketing plan for a nail salon. He enjoys getting the insight into a small business environment.
“I had no idea the amount of work that people put into their businesses,” Schuman said. “This project has allowed me to see how much research goes into the marketing plan.”
Businesses partnering with the students include:
Associates in Professional Counseling and Coaching
City of Palos Heights
Elim Christian Services
Lake Katherine Nature Center
Lisa Nail Salon
Northstar 360 Business Solutions
Premier Medical Staffing
Star Diamond Jewelers, Chicago, Illinois
Worth Public Library