MBA students provide synergy and solutions to area businesses
On June 29, 2016, three teams of UNIBusiness MBA students, who spent six months consulting for area businesses, presented their final capstone project to faculty, staff and business professionals. This consulting project serves as the final requirement for UNI’s MBA program, and the teams will presented their written recommendation reports to their clients throughout the summer.
“Our MBA students consistently credit the Capstone experience for helping them pull together everything they've learned over the MBA program. It's that integration of coursework, along with application to real issues faced by a regional business that crystallizes everything that they've learned,” said Dale Cyphert, assoc. professor of management and MBA capstone facilitator.
Cat Weaver, Mike Nguyen, and Michael Adams worked with PMW (Precision Metal Works), a regional company that supplies high quality standard and custom parts washers. The company wants to expand its sales efforts, and sought advice about which of its current product offerings to focus on and how to best structure the effort, choosing between expanding its current distribution network or developing an in-house sale team. Chris Schrage, Instructor of Marketing and Global Opportunities Coordinator was the team’s mentor.
Kong Chen, Madiha Ahsan, and Suyi Ma worked with Kryton Engineered Metals Inc., a leader of spun metal component and fabrication parts located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The company's customers expect to see enormous growth over the next few years, and the client asked for a growth management plan to insure that production, manpower, and managerial expertise will be in place. Sarah Rosol, Instructor of Management, was the team’s mentor.
Kim Fettkether, Carole White, Laura Connor, and Ji Zhu worked with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, a local faith-based, not-for-profit, comprehensive medical/surgical health care provider offering acute levels of medical care. Offering the first urgent care centers in town, Covenant Clinic wants to optimize its Convenient Care Express location inside the Cedar Falls HyVee. Matthew Bunker, Professor and Dept. Head of Marketing, was the team’s mentor.
The MBA Capstone Conference was an all-day event at which these teams presented their recommendations to faculty, executive reviewers, and students. “The consulting services provided by our MBA candidates are built on a solid foundation, and this opportunity to share that expertise with small and mid-sized businesses across Iowa is what makes UNI's MBA program unique,” Cyphert added. Those in attendance were able to evaluate how well the result correlated with each organization’s goals.
Evaluators in attendance included Dan Beenken, Katherine Cota, and Randy Pilkington from UNI Business and Community Services; Elkin Gomez and Carlos Mario Betancur Hurtado from Universidad EAFIT; Kathy Grete, Compensation Manager, CUNA Mutual Group; professors Dan Power, Raj Rajendran, Karthik Iyer, Lisa Jepsen, Katie Hillyer, and Michelle Rourke from UNIBusiness.
To learn more about UNI’s Master of Business Administration program, check out business.uni.edu/graduate/mba-cedar-falls for more details.