Alumni Visit – Jan. 26, 2019

Ziad Lajnef visited the School of Management to talk about his experiences working in the internal audits industry. He graduated from UM-Flint in 2002 with a BBA in Accounting with a Finance concentration. Shortly after, Lajnef went on to complete his MBA in 2003. During his undergrad at UM-Flint, he participated in a study abroad trip to Russia and visited the GM plant in Togliatti and the GM headquarters in Moscow. He is currently the Internal Audit Director for General Motors and oversees annual risk assessment and execution of the audit plan for North and South America. Lajef opened his presentation by giving advice to current students by encouraging them to reach out to their professor for their guidance. Lajnef said “Students at UM-Flint have a unique advantage. At a bigger school, you don’t have as much contact with your professors. Here you have direct access to ask professor about whatever you want. Use them to guide you for what you want to do in the future. Use their experience to your advantage to get the most out of your education.”

In his presentation, The Foundational Pillars for Establishing Trust with Internal Audit Customers, Lajnef elaborated on three principles of internal audits. First was to deeply consider strategies to use. Second principle is to think about the talent and diversity of the team. Lastly focused on the outlook on short-term and long-term for tactical planning and processing. Later in his presentation, Lajnef spoke about the importance of analyzing data and knowing the market you are in. His advice was to, “Become date savvy. The more you’re involved and knowledgeable in the market, the better off you’ll be.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Lajnef’s past experiences as a chef or his journey into the business world, he was featured in the fall 2018 SOM Business Magazine as the alumni spotlight! Click the link and go to page 9 to read more: https://go.umflint.edu/BusinessMagazine2018

If you’re interested in being an alumni speaker or volunteering for our upcoming events, please email Anna Swartz at annas@umflint.edu to find how you can give back to the UM-Flint community!

The 2016 Economic Forum

 

The 2016 Economic Forum was hosted by The Rotary Club of Flint & the University of Michigan-Flint School of Management on December 9th, 2016. The event took place in the Northbank Ballroom in Downtown Flint, Michigan.

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

Steve Chenenko, MBA
Chief Risk Officer, Nationwide Bank

Yener Kandogan, Ph.D
Associate Dean & Professor of International Business, UM-Flint School of Management

Christopher Douglas, Ph.D
Associate Professor & Department Chair, UM-Flint Department of Economics

 

Lunch with an Entrepreneur featuring Steve Whitener

 

Steve Whitener, University of Michigan-Flint Alumni and entrepreneur, spoke to students on Dec. 1 about the importance of entrepreneurship.

 

More about Steve Whitener 

Started Real Estate Company as a UM-Flint Student
In 1973, while attending UM-Flint, Mr. Whitener purchased an apartment building. Upon graduating in 1977, he went on to acquire several additional rental properties. While managing several real estate holdings, he led a highly successful career in sales. This led to Mr. Whitener founding National Systems Installers.

Became a Technology Entrepreneur
In 1993, he founded National Systems Installers (NSI), a company that provides infrastructure cabling services to corporations. Six years later, he formed Nuspire Networks, which designs and offers monitoring and security systems. His business works with Fortune 500 companies and has 300-plus retail operations. He is Chairman of the Board for NSI and is a former Chairman of Nuspire, a multimillion dollar company he recently sold.

UM-Flint SEI Summer Camp Students Explore Entrepreneurship

The Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation held its Summer Entrepreneurship Institute camp for the first time on July 12-14.

High school juniors and seniors spent three days learning about multiple aspects of entrepreneurship, business, and marketing. The camp aims to help high school students understand entrepreneurship and the excitement surrounding new ventures that can solve real problems.

Professor Amy Gresock, Assistant Professor of Management, said she hopes to challenge the students to think about entrepreneurship in a multi-faceted way.

“Opportunities are everywhere. It wasn’t just sitting in a classroom with the students. We were in the Flint community. We were on campus and we challenged them to look for opportunities,” said Gresock. “In some of the exercises we did, they came up with some really good ideas that played off of opportunities that they saw in the external environment. Their problems don’t have to be something really grandiose. It can just be solving a problem that they see in everyday life.”

 

 

Professor Greg Laurence teaches summer camp students about the basics of Entrepreneurship.

Professor Greg Laurence teaches summer camp students about the basics of Entrepreneurship.

 

 

Students spent time with School of Management Professors Amy Gresock and Greg Laurence inside the classroom and in the community working to develop their entrepreneurial venture. During day one, students toured the UM-Flint campus looking for opportunities and quickly found that Flint has a lot of prospects for entrepreneurs.

Sean Mason, a high school junior from Davison, said he appreciated the implementation of lessons learned during the Summer Entrepreneurship Institute.

“I liked that it was hands on. I didn’t know exactly what to expect coming into it but I liked that after we learned something, we got to try it out,” said Mason.

 

Sean Mason asks a question during a skype interview with Chris Trejbal.

Sean Mason asks a question during a Skype interview with Chris Trejbal.

 

The camp aimed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking by engaging students with course materials, community experiences, and a field trip to Skypoint Ventures in downtown Flint on the second day of the camp.

Interim Director of Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and camp organizer, Professor Brian Blume, said he believes the Summer Entrepreneurship Institute was an engaging experience for the high school students.

“The camp was effective in introducing students to entrepreneurship and helping to develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Blume. “We, also, were able to show students how downtown Flint is being transformed to support and encourage entrepreneurial ventures, as well as introduce the strong entrepreneurship program at the UM-Flint School of Management.”

 

Summer camp students tour Skypoint Ventures. Bryce Moe, Managing Director of Skypoint Ventures, shows students a portion of the Dryden building that is under renovations.

Summer camp students tour Skypoint Ventures. Bryce Moe, Managing Director of Skypoint Ventures, shows students a portion of the Dryden building that is under renovations.

 

On day three, the students wrapped up their work and learning by presenting their feasibility analysis projects to fellow students and their parents. Mason said he believes he gained a lot out of the camp experience.

“Before this camp I had a rudimentary understanding of business and certain opportunities. I learned about how to find your niche, how do you look at an opportunity and seize it and use the correct branding and marketing to really succeed and advance your cause,” said Mason.

The School of Management will be hosting another summer camp next year for high schoolers. Blume said he hopes to see more student participants in the future. He also has a piece of advice for other young entrepreneurs who want to get started.

“I suggest exploring these entrepreneurial interests early on. I encourage you to become involved with a business venture or to start a business, even if it’s a part-time business. Also, be sure to watch the TV show Shark Tank.”

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.