Following the receiving of the Lily Endowment, a grant for education, the business department will be moving to the basement of Loew-Brenn Hall in order to expand their department. The expansion also includes a new entrepreneur certificate beginning spring 2015 for students in and out of the business department.
Professor Troy Irick and Ann McPherren, Ph.D., created a grant proposal that funds the certificate as well as a small business venture office housed in the business department and staffed by business students.
“The dedicated space [in LBH basement] that the business department will have will give them an identity,” Irick said.
The new space includes three classrooms, two of which will be used for seminars and one for lectures. There will also be a common lounge area and a new office suite for the professors.
The department will hire a full-time faculty member later this fall. There will also be an office for a student worker who is managing the department’s small business marketing firm.
The firm is the most exciting part of the grant, junior Tyson Kalischuk said. It will allow students within
within the department to work at a consulting business.
“I am excited that it will create a buzz for business students and better our department,” he said.
The department will employ three student workers including a manager and a marketing director. They have invited business students to apply for these positions.
“This student consulting business will be a testimony to the abilities the business department possesses and the ability to create a profitable student-led business,” Kalischuk said.
He is one of the ten students who has submitted an application to the department to work for a small business.
Irick said the grant proposal is for five years but most of the costs have come from remodeling the basement.
“Most of the cost will be one time as they move to the basement,” he said. “The small business part will be a revolving loan which will be replaced as businesses repay their seed money. It will be eventually self-sustaining.”
Irick hopes the certificate will help businesses.
“Business can attach to anything and bring something to any discipline,” Irick said. “The certificate provides an exposure to and an opportunity for anyone on campus who would not normally see themselves as a business major.”
At only 15 hours, the certificate is achievable to students in any major, and the opportunity to develop and potentially launch a small business is a major draw, Irick said.
“This new student-lead business will help students get practical experience working in teams, make connections with local businesses, and get the satisfaction of seeing the finished product,” junior Amy Hetrick said, “not to mention the fact that this is a resume-building jackpot.”