Friday, May 10, 2013

Students pitch creative recruitment ideas to Payless

Students at the University of Kansas School of Business on May 9 pitched social media recruitment campaigns to the human resources department at Payless ShoeSource.

Six teams from Recruitment and Selecting Effective Employees (MGMT 413) worked on a semester-long project to hone in on creative ways to build the Payless brand on social media and to help prospects find their perfect “fit” at Payless.

Students from the winning team, the Wheel Deal, with HR
reps from Payless and Prof. Venkat Bendapudi
“We researched Payless’ career website and evaluated its current social media sites. We also did extensive research on competitors’ sites to see what they were doing and find inspiration and conducted a focus group,” said Andrea Serrano, senior in management from Olathe, Kan., who presented her ideas with her team to Payless.

The six groups were also required to recruit an additional team member to help them build these social media plans, which helped the students learn what worked and didn’t work to get others interested and involved.

“Through our recruitment process I learned it was a little more difficult to reach out to the student body than I had actually realized it would be,” Serrano said. “While recruiting we had to look for a member who would complement the skills of the other members and pull the team together.”

In developing the social media plans groups tapped into networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

“Pinterest is a newer social media and less crowded with job postings than obvious networks like Twitter and Facebook,” Serrano said. “It’s only four years old with more than 50 million users, so using this as a recruiting site could put them ahead of the game.”
A team pitches its ideas to Payless HR reps

Payless awarded the top three teams with monetary prizes, although it wasn't just the winners who learned from this experience.

“My favorite part about the project was creating a product from scratch that was our own ideas and something that a company could actually take with them and use,” Serrano said.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Students receive award for designing a difference

Two students from the University of Kansas School of Business received the Community Service Program of Year Award in April at the Jayhawk Choice Awards. Their campus clubs teamed up to make a campus-wide and international difference.

Sherry Farrahi, sophomore from Leawood, Kan., majoring in management and leadership and president of the KU Fashion Club, teamed up with Brandon Kuzara, junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., majoring in marketing and president of KU Enactus, for an event called Dresses for a Difference. The event was held in March on campus which invited students to create a simple dress out of only pillowcases and a few basic sewing materials at the Kansas Union between classes. The finished dresses are to be donated to the Dundori Orphanage in Kenya with help from the Dundori Orphans project, which was founded by Scott Moir, senior in accounting from Manhattan, Kan. More than 100 students helped create 102 dresses to be donated to young girls in Kenya.

The clubs collected the pillow cases during an event hosted in the fall of 2012 in anticipation of Dresses for a Difference.

“The members worked together to put on a great event, including applying for grants, collaborating with other on-campus clubs, and preparing a schedule for the event,” Farrahi said.

The dresses will be transported to Kenya this summer with help of the on-campus organization Kansas2Kenya. Professor Bob Basow of the School of Journalism will be handing off these dresses to the owner of the orphanage in early June.

Learn more by following @KU_FashionClub, @kusife and @dundoriorphans.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Information systems club shines at civic hacking competition

The Information Systems Association of KU, known as IS@K, is making waves in the Kansas City technology community with its recent success at a civic hacking event.

The 24-hour Hack of the Sexes competition took place April 26 and 27 at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, sponsored by a number of Kansas City technology companies, including Sprint, and the city of Kansas City, Mo.

Civic hackers are designers, artists, engineers and other tech professionals who collaborate to create open source solutions to challenges facing local communities, cities and states. Some of the civic issues highlighted at the event included environmental sustainability, education and citizen engagement.

KU IS@K member focuses on Hack of the Sexes competition
“Hack of the Sexes combined groups of people with different talents – graphic design, programming, business – in an effort to build a website or application that solves a civic problem,” said Michael Luchen, senior information systems major and IS@K president. “Participants were able to gain real-world experience in solving community challenges through tech solutions while learning from experts in the Kansas City tech community.”

KU IS@K participants in the “hackathon” divided into separate teams, working with students and professionals outside of KU, to increase the club’s visibility and gain networking opportunities.

Frank Dillon, a KU information systems major and IS@K member, pitched the Feed the Meter app, which uses smartphone technology to allow people to pay for parking meters.

“The participants were so impressed with Frank’s idea of a parking meter app that he actually got to lead his own team to create the product,” Luchen said.

Information systems student Pratik Gadhia was also on the Feed the Meter team, and posed the idea of integrating QR codes into the concept. Chad Kozicki, a KU IS@K member, was part of the PlanIT KC team, which devised an app that allows city developers to understand the value of environmentally focused design.

IS@K board member Scott Howell III was on the grand-prize winning team, which created The Giveback, an app that allows charities to connect with citizens interested in volunteer opportunities. The app will launch summer 2013.

For more information on IS@K, connect with the student club on Facebook and Twitter.