You’ve heard it already-Emerge@Simpson is an amazing outlet for students to get in on the ground floor of a new business of their own making. But did you know Emerge is also for academic development? Senior management majors are involved through their MAGT 385 capstone course. The 15 students enrolled in the Spring 2014 course are working in groups developing their projects, but as Professor DeGraaff points out,
“The class isn’t about completing tasks. The students are working on real management skills. This is an entirely experiential learning experience for the students. They are designing the future of these companies.”
Professor DeGraaff works with the students in the development-presentation-feedback cycle to help the students find the way to solutions for their problems. Each class period features a “chalk talk” quick lecture that focus on common management issues the groups are facing. Early in the semester, the discussion centered on the future of jobs: as students consider the forward movement of their companies, how will the work change in the future? How might work be automated in the future? And also of vital importance, how can they ensure they have a place in the future workplace? The students took the evidence presented and subsequent discussion about it to work in their organization. As managers, they will need to consider the impact of automation on their work.
Kaitlyn Laursen is one team leader in the class. She developed the idea of Complete Access. Through this smartphone technology, she envisions students will be able to use their phone as a replacement for their Simpson ID card in the library, dining halls, and so forth.
“We are currently working with computer science on the actual app development. We are hopeful they can do the project, but it will take more than a semester.”
Katilyn is learning about project management and setting timelines with Complete Access.
As the semester wraps up, the students present their work of the semester to their business advisers and Professor DeGraaff. They hear valuable feedback about their projects, their work, and their presentation skills as they work toward self-improvement and business development. For the final assignment in the course, each group prepares a business plan for their project looking forward. The knowledge gained in this course involving practical management skills, leadership development, and presentation techniques will allow these students to move successfully into the business