Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Entrepreneurship programs help #growKS

In honor of Kansas Day, take a look at how the business school’s entrepreneurship program gives back to the state. This infographic illustrates the economic value of Kansas' flagship institution and its means of spurring innovation through economic development, education, consulting and beyond.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Student groups count on UBC for support

College isn't just about the classes. It’s also about the experience.

The Undergraduate Business Council (UBC) is a student government organization dedicated to making business school students’ experience as great as it can be.

The UBC is an umbrella organization responsible for governing all student groups within the business school. In addition to that, the UBC’s goal is to support the school and provide students with opportunities to be successful.

“Our goal is to energize the business school students and give them different events they can attend to meet people, get them involved and get them excited about the school,” said Kelvie Crabb, faculty advisor of the UBC.

To ensure that student clubs are able to offer networking events, social dinners, lectures and more, the UBC assists with funding, event planning and communications between each group. The council is made up of an executive team, student club representatives and a general assembly to ensure that all business students are able to take part.

A popular UBC event is “A Night Out with the Leaders,” to which the council invites 50 business students and 50 local business leaders for a night of networking. It’s important to the UBC that students, both in and outside of the council, are able to get to know others involved in their own interests.

“The biggest benefit of being in the UBC is meeting a huge variety of students within the school.” Crabb said. “It’s especially great if you haven’t chosen your major yet because the council is made up of all different business majors. Most importantly, it’s a great way to feel like you’re giving back to the school and energizing your fellow students.”

Learn more about the UBC here.

by Mackenzie Leander

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Professor shares marketing insight with local businesses

Noelle Nelson speaks to business owners Tuesday at a marketing seminar.
KU School of Business Assistant Professor Noelle Nelson spoke to a group of 65 local business owners in Lawrence today as part of a seminar about marketing.

The seminar, “Top Marketing Ideas for 2014,” was sponsored by Jay Wachs, president of BriarCliff Group, and Dee Bisel, Owner of Minuteman Press.

Nelson, who researches marketing and consumer behavior, shared advice on how big data can aid small business owners, as well as what consumers have come to expect from marketing.

For their marketing plan to succeed, Nelson said, business owners need to know who their customers are and who they want their customers to be. That’s where big data, such as a customer’s address or purchase history, can help them learn what that customer expects from their business.

By using big data, a business owner learns more about their customers’ needs, thereby creating a stronger relationship between buyer and seller, Noelle explained.

Since social media has become a major form of communication between customers and businesses, Nelson said, it’s even more important for businesses to focus on online interactions. What business owners need to understand, she added, is that it’s not enough just to be on Facebook or Twitter anymore.

“What’s impressive is that you use those tools to address (customers’) problems,” she said.

 by Annie Montemayor

Finding her stride in the B-school

The state motto of Kansas is “Ad Astra per Aspera” meaning, “to the stars through difficulties.” Senior business student Kayleigh Sellens can relate to that.

Kayleigh Sellens
Sellens is a double major who will graduate from the University of Kansas this May with a degree in business administration, with concentrations in supply chain management and international business, a degree in Spanish and a minor in global and international studies. She is on track to leave KU with a 3.0 GPA, but it took some time for her to adjust to college life before she got serious about school.

By graduating in the top 20 percent of her class at Free State High School in Lawrence and scoring a 28 on the ACT, she earned a spot as a University of Kansas 2010 Mt. Oread Scholar. But that first year didn’t reflect her previous academic achievements.

“I think one of my problems was that when I started to struggle that first semester I was embarrassed and didn’t utilize the resources that Mt. Oread Scholars could have provided,” Sellens said. “I should have gone to them for help.”

Her job, where she worked almost 30 hours a week, interfered with her sophomore year by taking her focus away from school. The poor performance as an underclassman motivated her to recommit to her studies. She realized if she wanted to graduate in four years, she needed to step up her game.

“Early in her career, she was told not to pursue business because of her GPA,” said Shu Tosaka, academic advisor at the B-school. “She proved everyone wrong.”

In Sellens’ first semester as a business student, spring 2013, she enrolled in 17 credit hours at KU and six credit hours at a community college. Ever since then, she’s taken no less than 18 hours each semester, along with at least six every summer. She’s done all of this while averaging an overall GPA of 3.62.

“I’ve had to really focus on organization and time management in order to juggle such a busy schedule,” Sellens said. “This semester, I’m only taking 15 credit hours. I’m hoping it will seem like a breeze in comparison!”

Earning a double major with a minor wasn’t enough for Sellens. She wanted even more from her education at KU. Through the Spanish department, she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for six weeks during the summer of 2012. Last summer, she spent 10 days in Panama with 14 other supply chain management students. She is also president of the Supply Chain Management Club and co-president of the KU chapter of American Business Women’s Association.

“I’ve gotten first-hand experience that I couldn’t have gotten elsewhere as an undergraduate,” she said. “I also think that I’ve gotten better at public speaking and improved my writing skills through my roles in different student organizations.”

Nearly every success story has something or someone behind the scenes helping advance the plot. For Sellens, it’s her mom, whom she describes as her number one fan.

“My mom is a huge motivator for me,” she said. “If I’m struggling with something, all I have to do is call her and she’ll remind that I’m doing the best I can and I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to accomplish all of this if it wasn’t for her.”

While attending a career fair last semester, Sellens found her dream job: working in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a commodity manager for American Airlines. After she thought she blew her first interview, she didn’t think there was any chance that American Airlines would want a second. As Tosaka said, she’s proving everyone wrong, and in this case, that includes herself. She landed her dream job, and after graduation she is moving to Texas to begin her career in business.

by Dan Dutcher