MGMT 101 teams serve up fresh ideas

Nick DeMarchis, Print Managing Co-Editor

Students enrolled in Introduction to Management (MGMT 101) are looking to make a real impact with their work, both in Lewisburg and beyond.

MGMT 101, an integral part of the University’s Management program curriculum since 1979, allows students to create and manage “companies” of 25 peers to benefit local community organizations. This semester, two companies are working to support Lewisburg groups; while one is establishing itself near Milton, another supports a national organization based out of Williamsport.

Terry Burke, the coordinator for MGMT 101, said that teams “‘painstorm’ issues that hold a deep meaning to them and something that they would like to see changed in the world,” and then choose a community partner based on that decision.

Professor of Management Tammy Hiller added that Management 101 companies “don’t just fundraise for their partners, but instead build their missions around their service projects.”

For instance, The Improved Milton Experience (“TIME”), “works with underprivileged kids and tries to give them a safe place to go after school… a safe place to be themselves,” Sam Godshall ’24, the CEO of “Dreams Take TIME,” said.

Originally, the team had planned on creating a music studio for TIME’s downtown space to help community members bring their musical visions to life.

“In 24 hours, that plan instantly crumbled around us,” Godshall said. He described how his team had to quickly learn crisis management, and “very luckily, because of the team that we have, we’ve had no trouble adapting and overcoming these problems.” Instead, the team has decided to invest in the community involvement of TIME in general.

Last week, Dreams Take TIME hosted a Fall Festival with pumpkin painting and a costume contest to begin their fundraising efforts. So far, they’ve raised over $2,300 for TIME in Milton.

Lindsey Knutzen ’22, a former participant and TA for the course, remarked, “MGMT 101 taught me how to conduct myself and communicate with stakeholders, such as the University & my partner organization. This course gave me confidence to ask them the right questions and meet true needs.”

Another company decided to raise money for Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Williamsport through a service partner, Operation Gratitude. Keri Gilligan ’24 said their team has a mutual “commitment to advocate for disabled veterans, but also for underrepresented groups like women and minority veterans.” Their company “Appreciating America’s Heroes” hosted a golf tournament this past Sunday, and made paracord bracelets for active duty service members.

DAV is a national social welfare organization that provides “transportation to medical appointments,” support to Veterans’ Affairs facilities, and “special assistance to veterans in need in communities nationwide.” So far, Appreciating America’s Heroes has raised over $2,600 for DAV.

Working on this project gives students a “hands-on learning experience that connects to the management theories and models taught in class,” the team’s Oral Reports Manager Sarah Hanlon ’24 said.

“Everyone has come in ready to learn. This environment has shown the determination that our company has, something that is irreplaceable,” Gilligan said.

Associate Professor of Management Jamie Hendry said that students’ education through their more theoretical courses serves “as a means of explaining why things in their MGMT 101 companies are unfolding as they are and as a means of determining how they can continuously improve, both as an organization and as individuals.”

“From the very start, the course helped students learn about not only efficiency and effectiveness — the two principles typically undergirding introductory management courses the world over — but also community, which may be the most important and powerful factor of all, as students often figure out for themselves by the end of the semester,” Hendry said.

One team decided to partner with a nonprofit just off-campus, the Lewisburg Children’s Museum. Maura O’Brien ’24, the CEO of “Creativity for Change,” said her team “has always had a shared passion for helping children in our local area.”

Their project involves “fundraising for the Lewisburg Children’s Museum’s ‘Count Me In’ program, which helps children from lower socioeconomic status gain entry to the Museum’s invaluable educational activities and exhibits, at reduced or no cost. Through partnerships with Sweet Frog and Pizza Phi we are able to encourage community members to support both local establishments and the Museum’s ‘Count Me In’ program.” So far, Creativity for Change raised over $5,200 for the museum.

“I love that my team brings such diverse opinions, perspectives, and ideas to every company session we have. I love that individuals actively engage with each other to work through difficulties that come up, strengthen ideas that need support, and make smart decisions that will lead to successful outcomes,” O’Brien said.

Last spring, “327 MGMT 101 companies have provided services and donations valued in excess of $520,000 and have worked about 106,000 person-hours (outside of class time) for their service partners,” Hendry said.

Another team’s CEO, Lea Codispot ’24, said that when “learning about [RiverWoods Meals on Wheels’] commitment to supporting those facing food insecurity (nearly 100 clients), we knew we had to help in some way.”

Their team, “Bison Meals ‘n’ Wheels,” has so far raised over $3,000 to deliver hot meals to homebound individuals in Lewisburg, Milton and Montandon.

Their company’s donation page says that “The great news is that Meals on Wheels of RiverWoods operates so efficiently that one meal costs just $3.95!” The team plans on coordinating with local restaurants to deliver a portion of nightly profits to RiverWoods.

Codispot attributed the team’s successes to “the community we’ve built both in and out of class. Every member is supportive, willing to step outside of their comfort zone, and eager to try new things.”

“There is nothing quite like Management 101. Every class tries to teach some level of ‘real world application’ in relation to the material we learn. Management 101 makes you live through that real world scenario,” Codispot said.

Burke said “The most successful MGMT 101 companies aren’t necessarily the ones who have the best project or raise the most money,” but instead “are the ones that demonstrate that they genuinely care about one another.”

“Unlike many other courses, MGMT 101 has real-world implications and consequences. We are also helping real people and get to serve them directly. It requires teamwork incomparable to small group projects seen in different classes. This class is a hallmark of the management education that Bucknell offers, and will be something that future companies are able to reflect on for years to come,” Gilligan said.

O’Brien said, “This course requires a lot from us, but for those who embrace it, I truly believe we will soon see just how invaluable this experience will be for shaping our minds and goals for ourselves and for our futures.”

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