Getting familiar with business in the real world

Gaining practical, real-world experience is part of the learning equation in the Haworth College of Business. Hands-on experiences take on a variety of formats, including class projects, visits to businesses, role-playing scenarios and participating in case studies.
The faculty works hard to make this happen in all programs. The end result—students who are better prepared and have a greater confidence level long before graduation day.

Students in the MBA Applied Marketing Research class were challenged to present solutions to a case study on loyalty programs to a panel of top managers from Kellogg Co. From left are first place team members Nur Amalina Mohamad Zaki, Sabrina Marte Sanchez and Julie Blankenship with Dr. Ann Veeck, professor of marketing.

The Southwest Michigan chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals provided funding to send students to the SFSP conference in Orlando, Fla. Pictured from left are Vince Franks, Leomary Garcia, Dr. James DeMello, professor of finance, Brittany Mead, Eric Foulds, Meghan Lewsley and James Gasaway, Gasaway Investment Advisors and board member for the SFSP chapter.

Student teams in the Marketing Principles class, taught by Amy MacMillan, instructor of marketing, presented their innovative product ideas to an outside panel of experts last fall. Pictured from left is the student team of Dylan Zachman, Michael Hayes, Cara Cremeans, Molly Murdock and Erik Jacobson, that presented "Pearl," a replenishing and rejuvenating bottled water targeted at women ages 35-60.

One of this year's BIS e-Firm projects, taught by Dr. Kuanchin Chen, associate professor of business information systems, assisted Auto-Owners on a project to facilitate better communications between managers, quality assurance specialists and systems developers. This marks the third year for the e-Firm project, where real-life business experiences are brought into the classroom.

For the past two years WMU students have been managing a large cap $500,000 portfolio of WMU Foundation funds and instructor Leonard Harrison, a principal at LVM Capital Management LTD, says the progress is "very respectable," returning 19.1 percent and slightly outperforming the 15 percent S&P 500 Index.

WMU students toured the Chicago Board of Options Exchange last fall, with help and guidance from Jeff Ross, a Kalamazoo financial advisor and board member on the Haworth College of Business Dean's Advisory Council. Pictured at the CBOE from left are students Chad Crane and Steven Dalla, with Ross and Will Ksander, retired vice president of operations for the CBOE.

Whirlpool employees taught negotiation skills to students in the Integrated Supply Management program as part of a one-credit hour special topics course. The students participated in role-playing negotiations where they received immediate feedback on how well they applied the concepts.

Accountancy students learn about high-level accounting issues and work in teams to develop solutions to case studies as part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT Case Competition. From left Donald Gribbin, chair of the Department of Accountancy and the winning team of Caleb Gayton, Alison Hue, Josh Kallen, Jared Lindberg and Josh Markzon are pictured with PWC representatives Rina Madias and David Lemieur, BBA '06. Dr. Jerry Kreuze, professor of accountancy and PWC team advisor, was unavailable for the photo. WMU is one of 43 colleges and universities that take part in the internal competition.

WMU students sweep ITERA competition

From left: Dr. Richard Gershon, Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, Chad Stec, Shane Mittan, Kurt Gillispie, Greg Guyette and Dr. Michael Tarn at the ITERA competition.

Four Western Michigan University students swept a prestigious international case study competition, winning the team division with one member taking top honors for best individual undergraduate research paper.

The students competed in the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association national case study competition. The final round of the competition and public presentations were held during ITERA’s Eighth Annual Conference on Telecommunications & Information Technology in April, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn.

This is the first time WMU has won the case study award and the third time in the past four years that one of its students has won the best undergraduate paper award. In the final round of the competition, WMU faced teams from Purdue University, Murray State University and James Madison University.

What Is ITERA?

ITERA (International Telecommunications Education Research Association) is an association created to advance telecommunications science through the creation of a forum for telecommunications and networking professionals, educators and researchers.

The forum encourages and supports the creation and maintenance of telecommunications interest groups, conferences, proceedings and journals.

Members of WMU’s winning case study team are Chad Stec, captain, of Gobles, Mich., a computer information systems major; Kurt Gillispie of Southfield, Mich., a telecommunication and information management major; and Greg Guyette of Farmington Hills, Mich., a telecommunication and information management major. Bringing home the award for best undergraduate research paper was Shane Mittan of Clare, Mich., telecommunication and information management major.

The national case study competition, titled “Connected Tennessee: Telecommunications Economic Development Case Study,” challenged teams to create a strategic technology plan for bringing broadband and information technology service to a portion of rural Tennessee. The plan had to include both technology solutions as well as a proposed budget and implementation plan.

"Not only does their final product represent seven months of hard work and effort, but it shows evidence of the quality of Western’s program and students."
— Dr. Michael Tarn

“I am so proud of our team,” says Dr. Michael Tarn, the project team’s advisor and chair of the WMU Department of Business Information Systems. “Since the first day they began their project, all team members clearly understood that they were working on a live, real-world project, while competing with graduate and undergraduate student teams from other universities. Not only does their final product represent seven months of hard work and effort, but it also shows evidence of the quality of Western’s program and students."

Papers presented at the conference were competitively selected and featured analysis of business strategies and issues facing media and telecommunication companies such as Apple, Intelsat and AT&T. Dr. Richard Gershon, professor of communication and co-director of the telecommunication and information management program, had high praise for Mittan’s case study analysis of Apple Corp.

“Mittan’s paper was an excellent piece of research that looked at the role of strategy and innovation in making Apple a leading-edge media company,” Gershon says. “His paper and conference presentation were superb in terms of organization and delivery."

WMU’s telecommunication and information management major is designed to train students in a variety of telecommunication and data communication sub-disciplines. Its mission is to give students a well-balanced education in a variety of business- and technical-management issues.

The program is offered through the Department of Business Information Systems in the Haworth College of Business and the School of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is co-directed by Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, associate professor of business information systems.


Haworth students excel in competitions

Advertising senior honored by Adcraft Club of Detroit

Kara Hensley of Woodhaven, Mich., is among four students statewide to win 2010-11 scholarships from the Adcraft Club of Detroit’s Adcraft Foundation. Hensley received a scholarship for $2,500.

Sales and business marketing students place in national sales challenge

Two students placed in the top three individually in the Russ Berrie Institute National Collegiate Sales Challenge held at William Peterson University in New Jersey. Ilyssa Golani, right, of Northville, Mich., took second out of 48 students in the “Speed Selling” component. Josh Breshgold, left, of Farmington Hills, Mich., took third out of 48 students in the “In-Basket Sales” component. The team, led by Dr. Jim Eckert, associate professor of marketing, placed second out of 20 teams in the overall competition.

ISM senior receives ISM scholarship

Matthew Wright of Muskegon, Mich., received the 2010 L.L. Waters Scholarship at the annual meeting of the American Society of Transportation and Logistics. From left Wright is pictured with David Yeley, president of the AST&L, and Dr. Bret Wagner, director of the WMU ISM program. AST&L paid for Wright to attend the conference and his membership in the organization. The L.L. Waters Scholarship Fund was established to encourage advanced undergraduate and graduate study in the field of Transportation/Logistics/Physical Distribution.

WMU MBA team places first in the ACG Cup

A team of four MBA students placed first in the Association for Corporate Growth Cup, a competition in which students experienced insight into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking and private equity. From left the team of Faisal Allaboon, Jon Andrews and Phillip Hammond, all of Kalamazoo, and Vincent May of Plainwell, Mich., won a $5,000 cash prize at the event held at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids., Mich. The team analyzed and presented strategies on complex business cases as part of the event.

Advertising students place in EdVentures competition

A team of advertising students came in first among Michigan universities and 11th overall in the EdVenture Partners GM & U Marketing Challenge. The team was challenged to consider and answer a number of analytical questions regarding a client’s brand position, a communication strategy and other current strategic situations as identified by the sponsoring client. From left are Stefanie Weiss of Royal Oak, Mich., Chauncia Van Lowe of Oak Park, Mich., Cory (Alva) Oslin of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Abby Knapp of St. Joseph, Mich. The team developed an integrated marketing communications campaign for General Motor’s College Discount Program.

ISM students receive national scholarship

Three integrated supply management students received scholarships at the Institute for Supply Management Services Group Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. From left Peter Lyngstad of Vicksburg, Mich., Chelsey Meyer of Schoolcraft, Mich., and Trisha Terns of Chelsea, Mich., were among 16 students representing top supply management programs at five universities who were honored at the conference. The students exemplify the very best in educational achievement and the future of the supply management profession. Each received $2,000 plus registration and travel allowance to attend the conference.

SEHR awards HR scholarship

Ashley Heckman of Parchment, Mich., and president of the WMU student chapter of the Society for Excellence in Human Resources, received a $500 Society of Human Resource Management Foundation Certification Scholarship. Only ten such scholarships were given in the United States in 2010. The award is based on academic merit, commitment to the human resource profession and future career plans.

WMU hosts HR Games

Jeopardy-style competition WMU hosted and placed second in the 2010 Michigan HR Games—a statewide human resources competition that tests students’ knowledge of the human resource field. The event, “Sharing Our Resources—Benefitting Our Students” was a fast-moving day of competition, food and fun. Throughout the Jeopardy-style matches, student teams answered questions about strategic management, total rewards, employee and labor relations, selection leadership and risk management. Pictured from left are are Risé Landeros, BBA ’91, MA ’94, HR Games judge, Dr. Satish Desphande, professor of management and WMU team advisor, with WMU second-place team members Jenna Breen, Justin Szostek and Alison Fettig. “The event, organized by student leaders from the WMU Society of Human Resource Management, prepares students for the Professional in Human Resources certification exam,” says Deshpande. “It also provides them networking opportunities, as over 20 community human resource professionals, including many WMU alumni, volunteered as scorekeepers, judges and hosts. This is the first time the competition has been hosted at WMU and is a great way to showcase our campus.”

Motivate Michigan winners

Two business students, Jacob Berkey, of Comstock Park, Mich., and Kylie Vasa of Rock Springs, Wyo., were awarded $12,500 in scholarships for their second place idea in last year’s “Motivate Michigan” contest, a corporate-sponsored collegiate State of Michigan competition. They proposed “implementing a program designed to educate high school seniors in personal finance,” as a way to better the state.

Haworth College of Business
2100 Schneider Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5457 USA
(269) 387-5050 | (269) 387-5710 Fax