UNI MBA students make recommendations to Cedar Valley organizations
Two teams of MBA candidates worked with Cedar Valley organizations over the past six months and presented their professional analysis and recommendations to faculty and business professionals at the end of June.
The consulting projects are the final requirement of the University of Northern Iowa‘s MBA program, one of just a handful of programs that require students to serve as consultants for existing businesses. The teams were introduced to their clients last January, presented a project proposal to the MBA faculty in April, and then worked with a faculty mentor to complete the planned work by the end of June.
Mollie Markin, Seth Smith, and Yuanyi Ye worked with Allen College in Waterloo. In response to a request for a land-use feasibility study, the team recommended commercial development of the available property.
Chenjie Gao, Erin Fram, and Uwem Ekwo comprised a team to assist the Northeast Iowa Medical Education Foundation, also in Waterloo, with a strategic planning project for its Northeast Iowa Family Practice Center. The team conducted both financial and stakeholder analyses to determine the organization’s core value as a provider of qualified family practice physicians within the Cedar Valley.
The teams were mentored by Sarah Rosol, Capstone Experience Coordinator, and advised by a faculty committee consisting of Matthew Bunker, Marketing Department Head, Russell Guay, Associate Professor of Management and K.N. Rajendran, Professor of Marketing.
The teams’ recommendations were presented at the annual MBA Capstone Conference, held at the UNI campus on June 25. The conference allows faculty, student and executive reviewers to evaluate how well the results met the individual business’ objectives and each team‘s contribution to the on-going success of the firm.
At the final conference, teams were reviewed by Stewart P. Carter (MBA '09), Project Manager, Inter-Factory Supply Chain Development worldwide Supply Management and Logistics with Deere & Company, who is serving as the MBA Program’s 2019 MBA Alumnus-In-Residence. Other guests included Lisa Jepsen, Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration, Cynthia Goro, Chair of the College’s Executive Advisory Board, Jennifer Waldron, Associate VP of Research and Innovation and Dean of the Graduate College, and Susie Schwieger, UNI’s Director of Graduate Student Life.
The conference was also attended by a group of MBA students from the Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia who are visiting UNI for a short course in cross-cultural business leadership practices with their faculty, Ana Maria Ortega Alvarez and Luis Mauricio Bejarano Botero.