During the 2019 winter semester, students in traditional and online Operations Management courses completed a semester long group project, led by Dr. Sandun Perera, former Assistant Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management. The focus was on forecasting methods used in excel to project how successful they were in finding the correct method to analyze what the data appeared to do in the past as well as to predict the future. Students were tasked with researching a firm of their choice that recently made a key decision to demonstrate data such as stock value, profit, sales, or other figures. Common themes included a new product launch, mergers, and acquisitions, alteration to distribution channels, or utilization of new delivery methods. In previous semesters, hot picks centered around Amazon and the buyout of Whole Foods, Meijer and its partnership with Shipt delivery service, and Wine in the evening at Starbucks.
One group comprised of two graduating seniors, Kyle Arrowood (BBA ’19 Accounting) and Peter Millar (BBA General Business ’19), as well as one senior that will graduate in December of 2019, Raymond Kusch (BBA ‘19 Entrepreneurship and Innovation), and one junior, Brant Beck (BBA ’20 International Business), exceeded expectations on this project. The group project focused on analyzing the acquisition of Dr Pepper Snapple Group by Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. that occurred in the summer of 2018.
As a member of the research group, Raymond Kusch, said about the project, “Do not just take things at their face value. It is worth the extra effort to investigate the root cause of the business problem in order to find out any underlying factors that may exist.” This dynamism lead to the group presenting at the Meeting of the Minds (MOM), an undergraduate research conference, alongside students from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Oakland University on May 10, 2019. Between the three universities, seventy-nine presentations took place at UM-Flint in the Riverfront Banquet center and School of Management classroom area. Twenty-eight individual projects were presented by UM-Flint students spanning several academic interests, such as Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, English, Mathematics, Management, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Social Work, and Theater/Dance.
Each group requires a faculty sponsor and Dr. Perera motivated his students to present and publish their findings. Beck spoke out about Dr. Perera and said “[He] was a tremendous help with the project. If you make it known that you are willing to put in the work, he is willing to help you make the project as good as it can be.” Currently, the SOM group is in the process of submitting their paper for peer review and publication. The group agreed that this experience demonstrated that the world is an ever-changing platform that requires every firm to be adaptive, as well as to think about their future for success in an increasingly demanding market setting. They also added that they look forward to applying the knowledge they learned in this class to other classes, as well as their careers.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Where: The School of Management, Riverfront Center
The Summer Entrepreneurship Institute will assist participants with an interest in business and entrepreneurship decide if this is a route they would like to pursue in college. The program will engage students in a series of life changing sessions, allowing them to get a feel for the field. Click here to read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
International Students At UM-FlintGlobal Advocates for Vehicle City BY ALLISON ROSBURYON JULY 1, 2016
This past year, there were more than 700 international students attending UM-Flint – the most they have ever hosted.
“We are an international campus that has been progressing over the past decade,” says Dan Adams, International Center Director. “The reality is that having this identity isn’t just our students. It happens with the curriculum and student life make-up; it’s a matter of embracing what is here now. Diversity means nothing; it’s really about what you do with it. It’s how you incorporate it into your everyday life, your student and professional lives, your friendships and relationships.”
And UM-Flint is not short on diversity. Students hailing from China, India, South Korea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Jamaica and even more countries decide to live, work, study and play in Flint.
UM-Flint senior Greg Hooper was energized throughout his recent trip to Detroit.
Hooper, and two others from the Flint campus, spent the day with peers from the Ann Arbor campus last month, visiting startups in Detroit, meeting with alumni, and networking. He was one of 49 University of Michigan students participating in DTrek, a program of The Center for Entrepreneurship, which is part of the university’s College of Engineering in Ann Arbor.
Hooper, who is studying entrepreneurial management, enjoyed representing UM-Flint during the trip, and sharing his experiences and expertise with those from the Ann Arbor campus. He also learned from them, along with from the entrepreneurs who relayed their stories of starting up ventures in Detroit.
The Hagerman Student Scholars program has been expanded for the 2016-2017 academic year by adding two additional students to the lineup for its annual Hagerman Student Scholar Award. The Hagerman Student Scholar award was created in 2015 to support future entrepreneurs. Hagerman Student Scholars become ambassadors of the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation located inside the School of Management.
Lauren Adams, Bryan Halpin, Nolan Moore, Sean Tabor, and Emily Zoromski will step into their role of Hagerman Scholars in the Fall 2016 semester. Along with receiving a $2,000 scholarship, they will become ambassadors of the School of Management Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Through this opportunity, the scholars will expand their networking opportunities while working one on one with School of Management professors and the community.
Adams, a senior majoring in Business Administration, expressed her excitement about being selected as a Hagerman Scholar. “It’s exciting to get involved this early on since I am only in my third year. I am excited for the networking opportunities and community involvement,” said Adams.
Adams sees entrepreneurship and innovation as ways of creating positivity in the community. As a part of the National Society of Leadership and Success, she has found that traits she already possessed will suit her entrepreneur spirit. “[National Society of Leadership and Success] gave me realization of my strong traits and interests. I am embracing entrepreneurship because it will teach me to be a better leader and to take risks for positive changes,” she said.
Lauren Adams, 2016
Moore, a senior majoring in Business Administration, echoed Adams sentiments about receiving the award. “When I heard about it, I got really excited. I applied for it and I was lucky enough to get it,” said Moore. “It’s been a huge blessing to me and my family. My mom cried when I told her I got it.”
As someone who grew up just outside Flint, Moore was never unaware of the cities issues. After he graduates from college, he hopes to contribute to positive changes in the city. “I heard about the crime, the violence, the poverty, and the poor economic situations that have plagued the city for years. Hearing about these things can easily crush one’s hope for a better future. After attending the University of Michigan-Flint for four years now, I have seen things that have restored my hope for the city, and I want to be part of that,” he said.
As a senior, Moore can see the impact that it will have on his education and career outlook. “The simple fact is this will help me get though school,” he said. “This is going to be my last year and I can get through this year without a bunch of student debt. It’s going to relieve a lot of stress and help me get a jump start on my career.”
Nolan Moore, 2016
Halpin, a senior majoring in Supply Chain Management and Marketing, agrees that the financial stress of education can affect the choices students can make. He understands the financial burdens that affect college students and how they impact the time it takes to get a degree. Originally starting his college career in 2004, he took only one course each semester while working full time. He states that the sacrifices his wife and himself have made allowed him to pursue his college education full time. “I set myself up to have one year without a job to go to school full time and this award helps me achieve my goal; it helps me to get where I’m going,” said Halpin. “My wife and I have both sacrificed for me to get this degree. For the school to participate in that and help to ease our sacrifice is amazing to me.”
As a student who is already heavily involved with Entrepreneurs Society as their Vice President, Halpin understands the impact of Hagerman Student Ambassadors. “I think the ambassadorship, reaching out to the community and to other students, that’s going to be the most fun,” he said. “I look forward to helping people achieve their goals just like this scholarship helped me achieve mine. That’s going to be phenomenal.”
Bryan Haplin, 2016
Tabor, a senior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, credits Dr. Michael Witt for igniting his passion for Entrepreneurship when he joined the Entrepreneurs Society. He was elected Vice President for the 2014-15 academic year and shortly after, transitioned to President for the 2015-2016 academic year. He pursued his passion by starting his own real estate investment company while attending school full time. Shortly after, he obtained an internship with SkyPoint Ventures. He hopes his work through SkyPoint Ventures will create opportunities for students to strengthen the surrounding community.
“I think it’s [the Hagerman Student Scholar Award] going to give hope to local entrepreneurs,” said Tabor. “It’s going to give hope to college grads who want to be entrepreneurs and realize that there are people out there who want to support them— people out there that understand the importance of small business and that they’re willing to give of their fortune to help someone create their own.”
Sean Tabor, 2016
Zoromski struggled to find her place in the beginning of her college career. She discovered her love for business and joined the Entrepreneur Society. It was there that she discovered her passion for working with others.
“That has had a really big impact on my college career,” she said. “I have met a lot of really great students with the same goals and mindset that I have. That’s had a big impact. You get different viewpoints on everything and just some of the projects you do, dealing with the people you are helping is really cool.”
Zoromski believes that future Hagerman Scholars will benefit and gain opportunities that otherwise would not be available. “I think that it’s [the Hagerman Student Scholar Award] going to help other students learn and grow,” said Zoromski. “Everyone wants scholarships and having the different things you’re involved in, from getting the scholarship, is a great learning opportunity for other business majors. I’m a finance major so letting people other than entrepreneurship majors know about this scholarship will be a great opportunity for them to learn about entrepreneurship.”
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.”
School of Management students were inducted as new members of Beta Alpha Psi on January 29, 2016. Beta Alpha Psi is an international honor and service organization that recognizes high scholastic achievement in Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems. The goal of Beta Alpha Psi is the development of confident, ethical, and professional leaders. Faculty advisors to Beta Alpha Psi include Dr. Cathy Miller and Roz Nowosielski. Congratulations to our new inductees into Beta Alpha Psi!
(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.