By Brenda Alling, WSU Vancouver
Students, team win honors for real-world business consulting
VANCOUVER, Wash. - A consulting program to help businesses and nonprofit organizations in southwest Washington grow and create jobs presented its annual awards recently at Washington State University Vancouver.
The Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program (MAP) in the College of Business honored students who consulted with Trail Tech with the 2012 Business Growth MAP Team Award for Best Project. Trail Tech is a Battle Ground, Wash., company that offers high-tech gauges and accessories for off-road vehicles.
The students - Mitchell Insaurralde, Erin McPherson, Robert Putnam and Gregor Theis - were applauded for creativity, providing insight to the client, offering actionable solutions and functioning well as a team.
Business Growth MAP pairs business students, faculty mentors and recent business graduate advisors with businesses that are looking to grow. The program consulted with 21 businesses spring semester.
WSU Vancouver Business Growth MAP awards
for Showing Significant Leadership Abilities went
to Dana Olson and Joseph Zimmerman.
Awards for Individuals Showing Significant Leadership Abilities went to Dana Olson, who consulted with the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, and Joseph Zimmerman, who consulted with Gaynor’s Automotive.
Mistie Josephson was introduced as the new Business Growth MAP manager. She will help identify and recruit clients and coordinate the activities of each consulting group through the semester. Businesses that would like to be considered for Business Growth MAP may contact Josephson at 360-546-9533 or email@example.com
Michele Bloomquist, co-owner of Heisen House Vineyards, said she had her fingers and toes crossed that her business would be accepted into the program.
"I am a non-traditional business owner,” said Bloomquist. "I have an English degree. I did not formally study business. I like to make wine, and I run my business from my gut.”
She was eager to check her gut against the students’ formulas.
"The students have a lot of energy and the latest information,” she said. "They were professional and respectful of our time. They crunched our numbers, confirmed what we were thinking and gave us more certainty moving forward.”
The students are appreciative of the opportunity to work on real business problems.
"We applied what we learned in class and learned to address real-world problems in a small business setting,” said Ronald Wolfe, a student consultant to Heisen House Vineyards. "We learned new research skills and developed valuable relationships.”
"When our students graduate (this) week, they will know a lot of things” said Jane Cote, director of the College of Business at WSU Vancouver. "They will also leave with the confidence that they can do a lot of things.”