Engage in research projects and interact with real clients.

Millikin University's Tabor School of Business offers opportunities for undergrads to engage in research projects and interact with real clients. Senior students benefited from those opportunities during Millikin's first Business Strategic Plan Competition held on March 30. 

As part of the competition, two teams of students presented business strategies aimed to help local-based companies. Students from Millikin University's MBA cohort and Tabor School of Business Faculty members were on hand to judge the competition and provide feedback. 

The first team included: Catherine Hixson, a business management major from Monticello, Ill., Cody Rios, a business management major from Bristol, Ill., Mariana Weber, a marketing major from Manchester, Mo., and Tiffany Couri, an accounting major from Decatur, Ill. The group presented a business strategy plan for a local newspaper company with aspirations of expanding its readership to additional cities in central Illinois. 

The group provided details on the current trends of the newspaper industry, including online readership and digital advertising. 

I think experiences like this in which we are not just learning from a text book, but actually using the Millikin model of Performance Learning are extremely beneficial," said Mariana Weber. "To work with a local-based company, allows for us as students, to explore all aspects of business. 

The team also developed a website and mobile site to help give their client an overview of digital advertising opportunities, and show the importance of online interaction. 

The presentations were the culmination of Millikin's Business Strategy senior capstone course, led by Dr. J. Mark Munoz, Millikin professor of international management. Both teams earned $500 awards for their efforts. 

"The Business Strategy course is different because of the consulting aspect, involvement of mentors and the competitive context. The course provided the opportunity for Millikin University and the students to be actively engaged with the local community," said Dr. Munoz. "I believe that the strategic plans, if implemented, can help the companies. Seeing the students gain confidence during their presentations, especially in front of an MBA class, was very exciting."