Business Made Real. Companies Assign Projects to Clayton State Undergraduate Students
Clayton State University students in Dr. Leon Prieto’s Management Principles class had the opportunity this past semester to work directly with four companies.
Those firms participating were Liberty Mutual, Sherwin Williams, Waffle House and Enterprise. Representing Liberty Mutual were Shawn Nelson (Senior Branch Manager – Peachtree City, and a former president of the Clayton State Alumni Association) and Bill Ryan (Senior Branch Manager – Marietta). Representing Waffle House was Hillary Brown (Regional People Director). Representing Sherwin Williams was Ashlee Cherry (Branch Manager/Recruiter), and representing Enterprise was Latoya Barnaby (Talent Acquisition Specialist).
The students were assigned to teams and were given management consulting projects at the beginning of the semester; tasked with formulating solutions which were presented to the company representatives at the end of the semester. Two student teams per company competed head to head for extra credit and an opportunity to network with the company representatives.
The teams assigned to Liberty Mutual were tasked with finding innovative ways to build and develop client relationships within communities to promote Liberty Mutual products including Auto, Home, and Life insurance.
“it is always a privilege to be able to work with Clayton State students,” says Nelson. “I enjoyed presenting the case to them, answering their questions, as well as judging their presentations. I was impressed with each team’s research and solutions. They gave me some fresh, out of the box ideas! I look forward to working with your students again in the future.”
“We gained valuable lessons from having the opportunity to work in teams to tackle challenging problems faced by major corporations,” says Vincent Stegall, a management major from Jonesboro. “As professional consultants, my team and I took our project very seriously. I was able to utilize a combination of teamwork and graphic design skills to accomplish the task.”
“In order to adequately prepare our students for the workforce it is necessary that we continue to foster more collaboration between industry and the classroom,” adds Prieto. “My goal as an educator is to engage my students, and this is just my part in ensuring that we at Clayton State remain at the forefront when it comes to experiential learning and academic best practices.”