Tag: practicum

Students involved in the Center for Experiential Learning Practicum have a unique opportunity to consult for large Fortune 500 companies. One such notable partner is Red Bull, which the CEL collaborated with last spring.

The Red Bull consulting team was tasked with leveraging analytics to align consumer and retailer views of business performance. By building a comprehensive understanding of how different demographic and geographic segments intersect and engage across the full spectrum of the business, Red Bull can acquire new customers and identify better metrics for measuring success. Students worked directly with Josh Muncke, Director of Data Science at Red Bull. His previous experience in data analytics at Deloitte and IBM made him a great resource and mentor to the team.

During after the team’s work, the CEL talked directly with Josh about his experience, in order to continue improving as an organization and as student consultants. To begin, we wanted to better understand the unique value and perspective CEL students could provide.

Josh said students showed a fresh way of thinking about our consumer/user groups and found opportunities within them.” Beyond simply recognizing opportunities, the consultants identified metrics for measuring the success of pursuing those opportunities. This team of consultants delivered solutions rather than simply identifying problems.

CEL Red Bull Team working on site in California.

Josh’s feedback also helped us identify areas for growth as consultants: knowledge of more robust analytical tools and increased communication.

An understanding of data analytics tools is becoming increasingly more important in the workplace. While Excel is a great foundation, student consultants should be prepared to utilize more robust, professional-grade analysis tools when working with clients.

Josh also sympathized with the challenges that come from distance. The student team traveled to Santa Monica, California to meet in person with Josh, but increasing the number of video conference check-ins and on-site visits can better ensure alignment between the team and the client. Distance can be difficult, but using technology to our advantage can help decrease this gap.

However, the most important metric for success is: Would the client hire our student consultants again? Josh “definitely” would.

Like any team, our consultants faced challenges, but Josh believes the team’s output will help Red Bull drive more coordinated sales and marketing tactics at a regional level. We are excited to see how we can further our partnership with Red Bull and their incredible brand marketing tactics.

Guest Blogger: Allison Halpern, BSBA ’18, CEL Marketing Student Associate

Photo, above: This student team in the Venture Advising Consulting Course taught by Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship, spent 10 days in Budapest, Hungary immersed in the startup community and consulting for GPS Tuner, a leader in the field of software development for GPS navigation.

Olin creates powerful connections between businesses and our students—because we know the real-world measure of a program is how your academic experience translates into the workplace.

Of course, an internship is a time-honored way to gain experience and to demonstrate aptitude and skills.

But you’ll also find applied-learning opportunities in our classrooms, student clubs, and extracurricular activities—allowing you to explore new career options and gain substantive on-the-job experience, valuable mentors, and networking contacts.

1. The Center for Experiential Learning

Innovative learning. Real-world projects. Outcomes with impact. That’s the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL). The CEL matches highly motivated students at Olin Business School with organizations seeking strategic consulting services.

The CEL has five unique programs dedicated to innovative learning and delivering impact:

» Practicum pairs teams of talented Olin students with companies seeking smart solutions to management challenges.

» The Taylor Community Consulting teams of two to four graduate-level students provide pro bono consulting services to St. Louis nonprofits.

» The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program takes second-year MBA students from the classroom to the nonprofit boardroom to provide a unique lesson in leadership.

» CELect students consult for entrepreneurs at a tech incubator to better understand the challenges of a startup and advise on best-practice business strategies.

» Global Management Studies are student-directed courses that focus on industries, management styles, or emerging markets in a country or region outside the United States.

2. Investment Praxis

Guided by seasoned professionals, students manage $1.5 million of Olin Business School’s endowment.

3. Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation     and Entrepreneurship

Extracurricular entrepreneurship activities, such as business plan competitions, promote corporate innovation and the commercialization of new business ideas. The YouthBridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition has awarded over $600,000 in grants and in-kind services and also includes a $5,000 student cash prize.

4. Volunteering

Nonprofit organizations provide a wide variety of experiences to their volunteers. The Community Service Office serves as the major initiative of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University, supporting cocurricular service among undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

It’s a cornerstone of the American dream: starting a business, growing it, then passing it down to new generations.  Now, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis will have a new tool to help family business leaders learn how best to build and preserve their legacies into the future.

Mahendra R. Gupta, dean and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management at Olin, announced a four-year, $1.09-million gift from Roger and Fran Koch and Paul and Elke Koch that will launch the Olin Family Business Program. The program will position Olin as a leader in the field as it helps prepare its students to enter and lead their family businesses. Gupta’s announcement came during a half-day Family Business Symposium held April 22 at Olin.

“Olin Business School has long been a leader in preparing our students to enter and lead their businesses,” Gupta said. “This generous gift from the Koch Family will allow us to build on the resources and courses Olin already has in place to further strengthen the skill set of these students, and also address specific needs of family businesses. We are indebted to the Kochs — Roger and Fran, and Paul and Elke — for funding this very important initiative.”

In addition to attracting the next generation of family business leaders and connecting them to programs and resources needed to succeed, the Olin Family Business Program will also include an internship program for students seeking careers with family businesses, and Family Business Practicums, in collaboration with Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning.

These projects will pair faculty-led student teams with family businesses who seek effective solutions for the unique challenges they face. At the end of the practicum, the teams will deliver a report to the client company outlining their recommendations.

With their gift, the Kochs are also establishing the Koch Family Business Scholarship Fund, which will offer financial support to attract candidates with connections to family business to Olin’s full-time MBA program.

About the Kochs

Paul A. Koch (BSBA ’61, JD ’64 and MBA ’68) and Roger L. Koch (BSBA ’64 and MBA ’66) are co-chairman of the board at Koch Development Co. They are third generation family business owners in the real estate investment and development business. Both Roger and Paul have been recognized as Distinguished Alumni of the Olin Business School, and have been advisers to, and generous benefactors of, the university for many years.

The program will launch in Fall 2016.

Image: (From left:) Mahendra Gupta; Christopher Hoffmann, MBA ’16, vice president of Olin Family Business Club; Roger Koch; Elke Koch; Paul Koch; Emmy Caton, MBA ’17, incoming club president; and Ryan Plotkin, MBA ’16, president. Not pictured: Fran Koch. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

News release originally published on WashU’s The Source, by Erika Ebsworth-Goold

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