Category Archives: Awards

Entrepreneurs Society Influences Effective Student and Community Involvement within Flint

By Alexis Menard On May 1, 2019 11:55 am

The 2018-2019 academic year was a massive success for the School of Management student organization, Entrepreneurs Society (ES). Entrepreneurs Society received four awards at the Wolverine Excellence banquet on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The banquet is hosted by the Department of Student Involvement and Leadership and recognizes the contributions of a student organization which exhibits strong leadership skills such as teamwork, collaboration, communication, while also implementing initiatives that fulfill the mission of their organization.  The organization is also one that is committed to furthering the university’s mission and positively impacting the quality of student life on campus.

Entrepreneurs Society received the Outstanding Organization Award and the Student Organization Community Contribution Award. The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes a student organization that has demonstrated significant leadership qualities and has contributed to the University of Michigan-Flint during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Along with the two distinguished organizational awards, the School of Management Faculty member and Advisor to Entrepreneurs Society, Dr. Michael Witt, received the Outstanding Student Advisor Award. Lastly, the President of Entrepreneurs Society, Todd Fridline (BBA in Finance ’20), received the Outstanding Student Leader Award. 

The President of Entrepreneurs Society, Todd Fridline (BBA in Finance ’20), Vice President, Elisabeth Hamilton (BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’20), and Treasurer, Carryn White (BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’19) discuss Entrepreneurs Society community contributions and leadership at University of Michigan-Flint in a Q&A with the School of Management.


Q: How has this organization demonstrated leadership and positively contributed to the Flint community?

Hamilton: The Entrepreneurs Society takes great pride in being leaders on our own campus and also in the community in which we live. The biggest way our organization is making a positive contribution to the community of Flint is our Flint Green project. Flint Green is a project focused on changing the negative connotation that the community of Flint receives, and turning it into a positive outlook. Flint Green is focusing on promoting a greener version of Flint, using solar and wind energy to support the members of the Flint community who typically get ignored. By promoting and marketing this project, Entrepreneurs Society is also promoting a positive contribution to the Flint community.

This past December, over 20 Entrepreneurs Society members visited the Whaley Children’s Center to volunteer our time. The Society believes it is important to give back to the community whenever possible. This volunteer opportunity allowed ES students to help the Whaley Children’s Center in one of their most crucial times of the year.

Fridline: In the fall, the Entrepreneurs Society held its first annual Entrepreneur Tour. This experience provided students with an opportunity to listen to and network with entrepreneurs here in our own city. The tour made two stops in Downtown Flint. The first was at Cafe Rhema, where ES members listened to one of the executives at OLV Investment Group and Cafe Rhema owner, Josh Spencer. The tour also visited the Flint Ferris Wheel to visit the owner of KALM Clothing. They are both thriving businesses within the Flint Community and offered great insight about their experience of crafting their businesses, as well as gaining support from other local companies and promoting them to students at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Along with this tour, we have also had the honor of having various Flint entrepreneurs come to speak to our society, such as Wes Stoody, Founder of Article One, Terry Stanfill, inventor of “Lenz,” and we had a team assisting him in his marketing and finding his market segment, Drew Lauinger, Instagram Influencer looking to start a social media marketing company, Sean Tabor, Project Manager at Michigan Management Specialists and alumni of ES and many more entrepreneurs.

The Society also visited local packaging company and Tier-1 automotive supplier, NorthGate. Several ES students received a tour of one of their facilities and had a great opportunity to talk with the President of the company for over an hour. ES has also collaborated with local Entrepreneurs and alumni of the University of Michigan-Flint. Two entrepreneurs reached out to the Society in search of help for their respective businesses. Students from ES provided these entrepreneurs with business plans, financial models and projections, and helpful insight to their business sector.

White: Entrepreneurs Society has also held many events open to the community of Flint, including relationship with the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, Financial Wellness workshops and a LinkedIn Workshop. In these workshops, we have collaborated with other student organizations, emphasizing on the idea that the community of Flint should be an environment where everyone feels involved.

Q: How has the organization demonstrated a commitment to furthering the mission of the University of Michigan-Flint?

Fridline: The Entrepreneurs Society is dedicated to the success of its members, the community and the University of Michigan-Flint. Through collaborations, student engagement, and various events, the Entrepreneurs Society has worked hard to create opportunities for students across campus at UM-Flint. Entrepreneurs Society provides students with valuable, hands-on professional experience through events and projects. Among many things, we provide students with an opportunity to explore career opportunities and learn the skills needed to succeed as a student and professional.

Hamilton: Our two main events engage the community locally and globally. The first being our annual Entrepreneurs Society Dinner. This event is an opportunity for everyone in the Flint community to network with each other and grow positive connections along with each other, thus continuing the mission of bringing positive collaboration of members of the Flint community. This dinner is also a way to get the University of Michigan-Flint name out there in a positive way and show anyone from outside of this community the great things our school and organization are doing. The Entrepreneurs Society invites esteemed alumni and business professionals in the Flint area and connect them with current students on our Flint campus. The goal of this dinner is to provide these current students with a chance to network with local businesses and entrepreneurs. Over 120 people were in attendance, making it a great night of networking and opportunities for UM-Flint students, alumni, and community members.

White: The other main event the Entrepreneur Society participates in is the annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Conference. In November of 2018, ten Entrepreneurs Society members attended this global event in Kansas City to represent the University of Michigan-Flint and its values. At the conference, each member built leadership, networking, and teamwork skills through various seminars and workshops. In addition to learning these new skills, our Entrepreneurs Society also placed in the top five for awards in Outstanding CEO Chapter Leader, Outstanding CEO Chapter Advisor, and Best Cross Campus Innovation & Networking Award. Our President, Todd Fridline, was also able to represent our chapter and university during a Chapter Development session allowing ES to reach a global base by speaking about our practices. The conference is an opportunity to network with other students and executives from Fortune 500 companies. By supporting individual endeavors, as well as hosting these campus-wide events, the Entrepreneurs Society has been able to draw student involvement from multiple disciplines (including pre-med and engineering) to the organization.

Hamilton: Lastly, the Entrepreneurs Society has worked diligently to include students of all majors in events, projects, and meetings. Specifically at UM-Flint, ES has had student volunteers participate in coordinating a Zillion Solutions, another event hosted by the Hagerman Center, competition and Think Tank sessions hosted in the fall semester. Through collaborations with the Hagerman Center, and outreach at events like Admitted Student Welcome, Mgagement, and Pre-Business Welcome, ES has continually offered assistance to students beyond the School of Management.

Q: How has this organization positively contributed to student engagement at UM-Flint?

White: The Entrepreneurs Society is a resource that enables students to shape their careers and advance themselves in the professional world. Every semester, Entrepreneurs Society works hard to create opportunities through various projects and events. Members can take part by leading their own project or volunteering to support ongoing endeavors.

Hamilton: The organization has engaged students by providing team members to help students start their own businesses. ES alumni, Hane Cho, has launched DASH, a social networking app on Google Play and in the app store. Cho has been interviewed by several local news outlets about his work and aid from the Entrepreneurs Society. Another current project we having been supporting is an Italian import startup.

Fridline: Entrepreneurs Society invites students from all areas of campus to join the group for weekly workshops held during meeting time. These include etiquette tips, how to network effectively, intellectual property basics, how to improve your LinkedIn profile, and financial wellness for students. Additional involvement comes from collaborating with other organizations, such as SHRM, Marketing Club, and SCOMA, to host these events. Entrepreneurs Society also works closely with the Hagerman Center by hosting a Zillion Solutions, which received over 200 idea-solution entries. ES members are developing a sales pitch to aid the engineering department in participating in the annual Baja race. Collaboration with these organizations has resulted in the promotion and involvement of our members, as well as members of other student organizations.

UM-Flint Tax Preparation Service Honored by IRS

Dr. Cathleen Miller, an associate professor of accounting at UM-Flint runs the university’s tax assistance program, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), which provides free help to those in the community.

She started it in 1984, as a student through the UM-Flint Accounting Club, and remained heavily involved since becoming a faculty member in 1998. Miller formed a course in 2005 for the VITA program. She continues to teach the course.

 

Read the full article here.

Entertainment Entrepreneurs Win UM-Flint Business Plan Competition

Vino Raj wants to bring entertainment to “a new level” in downtown Flint.  And thanks to University of Michigan-Flint, his aspirations are closer to reality.

The UM-Flint graduate student is working with two business partners on a venture that would merge “different forms of entertainment, such as live action role-playing, puzzles, treasure hunts, and interactive team work.”

Read the full article HERE.

 

Dr. Mehdian received Honorary Professor

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The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi honors, by granting the title of Honorary professor of the University, the well-known researcher and professor in the field Finance, Seyed Mehdian, from the School of Management on March 31st in Iasi, Romania.

In 2008, Dr. Mehdian initiated the School’s cooperation with the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration on a Student Exchange Agreement. Dr. Mehdian is also member of the editorial board of the Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, research journal published by this Romanian University.

Granting the title of Honorary Professor to Mr. Seyed Mehdian, is a recognition for his outstanding involvement in the field of Finance, for his efforts, initiatives and substantial contributions to the scientific knowledge, as well as for his involvement in the development of relationships with the academic environment from Iasi.

Read more about Dr. Mehdian HERE.

Hagerman Student Scholars Selected

(From left to right: Jennifer Wenzlick, Justin Adsitt-Weiner, and Chloe’ Kas-Mikha)

(From left to right: Jennifer Wenzlick, Justin Adsitt-Weiner, and Chloe’ Kas-Mikha)

University of Michigan-Flint students Justin Adsitt-Weiner, Chloe’ Kas-Mikha, and Jennifer Wenzlick were selected as  the School of Management’s Hagerman Student Scholars.

Through this opportunity, Adsitt-Weiner, Kas-Mikha, and Wenzlick committed to being ambassadors for the new Hagerman Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and will get firsthand experience in working with the School of Management and its professors in order to build a network of professionals in the community.

The Hagerman Student Scholars program was made possible by a gift by Phil and Jocelyn Hagerman to establish the  Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (HCEI).

Justin Adsitt-Weiner, a sophomore majoring in international business, a former Business Plan Competition participant, cites the competition as motivation to apply for the Hagerman Student Scholar program.

“Prior to the competition I had had limited exposure to what entrepreneurship looked like in practice, and it was the skills that I began developing for and through the competition along with the influence of faculty members such as Dr. Laurence and Dr. Witt that kindled my now burning excitement to incorporate an entrepreneurial mindset into whatever path I may take,” said Adsitt-Weiner.

With the experience he gained through the Business Plan Competition and with the opportunities he was offered through the Hagerman Scholarship, Adsitt-Weiner understands the significant impact this can have on future recipients.

“By directly providing students with the support that is needed, they will have both more time and opportunity to take part in additional collegiate activities. With the addition of the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, these opportunities are boundless in their potential to help students achieve whatever goals they may have,” said Adsitt-Weiner.

Senior double majoring in health sciences and business marketing Chloe’ Kas-Mikha cites campus organizations such as Student Government, The Michigan Times, and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority as giving her the skills to be an ambassador for the Hagerman Center. Her involvement with the community has strengthened after receiving the Hagerman Scholarship.

“I am thankful to the Hagerman’s for allowing the opportunity to apply for the scholarship and being a recipient of it. The Hagerman’s generosity has inspired me to continue to help others and give back to the community,” said Kas-Mikha.

Kas-Mikha cites the Hagerman’s involvement as inspiration to continue her education and educating others.“ The Hagermans have aided in fostering education and growth at the University of Michigan-Flint and throughout the Flint community. I am happy to be a part of that change and legacy to teach and aid others,” said Kas-Mikha.

Senior human resources major Jennifer Wenzlick hopes the Hagerman Scholarship will benefit the next round of recipients the same way it helped her.

“It is inspiring and motivating to do more in community and to be more involved. I hope it gives them the same passion and drive that it has given me. I hope that it will follow through with the next recipients,” said Wenzlick.

Wenzlick’s involvement with the community and School of Management events has increased since receiving the scholarship. Along with attending the Business Plan Competition last year, she is excited for what is to come in this year’s Business Plan Competition event.

“I watched the final rounds last year and thought the Business Plan Competition was pretty cool. I am really excited to hear about the new ideas from inspiring entrepreneurs in our community. I still follow the companies from last year’s Business Plan Competition to see how they grow,” said Wenzlick.

School of Management Awards $28,000 in Scholarships

Throughout the course of the University’s history, the School of Management has forged partnerships with a number of community colleges across the state of Michigan to provide an easier transition for their students when transferring to the University of Michigan-Flint in pursuit of a BBA degree.

The School of Management is proud to provide financial support to the highest achieving students from our partner schools. We are pleased to announce that 14 top transfer students from eight community colleges around the state of Michigan were awarded BBA Transfer Scholarships worth $28,000 for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The School of Management proudly welcomes these outstanding undergraduate students who bring an average GPA of 3.63 and average accumulated credits of 47.

Business Plan Competition Winner Moves into Innovation Incubator

By Robert Gold On June 9, 2015 6:07 pm

University of Michigan-Flint student Ashley Knific will move her venture, Jobs 4 Moms, into the university’s Innovation Incubator later this month.

At the core of her organization’s concept is finding balance between raising a family and succeeding professionally. Knific aims to connect employers and employees, which will allow people to work from home and help employers find qualified staff.

 

Read the full article HERE.

Ashley Knific, SOM Business Plan Competition Winner

ASHLEY KNIFIC
WINNER OF THE 2015 SOM
BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Sponsored by Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

After months of hard work, research, and tough competition, University of Michigan-Flint student and aspiring educator, Ashley Knific, was named the winner of the Annual School of Management Business Plan Competition.

According to the research of Sheryl Sandberg, author and Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, 43% of highly qualified women risk their careers when deciding to take leaves of absence to raise their children.

Ashley’s proposed multi-level nonprofit, Jobs 4 Moms, aims to eliminate the tough decision that mothers often face between fostering their children and pursuing career goals, by implementing emerging technologies and proprietary software to pair mothers with businesses willing to employ skilled workers in flexible positions.

Jobs 4 Moms plans to use the $5,000 first place prize provided by event sponsor, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, to fund the development of a minimally viable website launch. This major first step will allow the nonprofit to fine tune the online platform to best suit both the employers’ and mothers’ needs, prior to full implementation and launch later this year when job placement is projected to begin.

Ashley worked closely with University Outreach’s Innovation Incubator to develop her business plan and refine the final presentation. As the most recent qualifying not-for-profit tenant business, she will also begin receiving free office space in the Northbank Center this summer.

 

Hagerman’s Make $2 Million Gift to Foster Innovation

By UM-Flint News On January 16, 2015 7:28 pm

The School of Management is proud to announce a leadership gift of $2 million from the Hagerman Foundation on behalf of the Philip and Jocelyn Hagerman. The gift is the largest single donation to the School of Management, and will create the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation…

Read the full article HERE.

Congratulations to the SOM Soccer Tournament Winners

The School of Management congratulates Mohammed Alkhashram, Khalid Alanazi, Abduallah Bahwal, Ahmed Aljohani, Ahmed Alahmar, Faisal Alnafisah and Meteb Alghamdi – the student players who comprised the first place team in the SOM sponsored Indoor Coed Soccer Tournament on November 1, 2014!

Each of the winning players was awarded a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and the team as a whole received a $150 gift card to Blackstone’s to celebrate their victory.