Making a difference in management 101

Doug Hendry, Assistant Sports Editor

There aren’t many courses at the University quite like MGMT 101. In this semester-long course, students manage their own companies, create their own business objectives, and establish financial operations for their entire staff. These are real products, real customers, and real business decisions that are presented to the Lewisburg community. A substantial amount of time and effort is put into the class, and in the end, the students receive the full experience of running a deadline-based company.

But one aspect of the MGMT 101 course usually escapes the minds of University students who aren’t in the class, and it’s described as the “heart of the company” by the classes’ professors: the community service aspect. All four groups run their own companies, sell their products, and use it all to benefit the Lewisburg community or other various organizations in one way or another. From aiding Kelsey’s Dream and building a play garden to providing clean water and creating a suicide awareness campaign, this past semester’s companies have made a deep impact through their respective services.

The first of four companies, Company A, started “A CommuniT for Kelsey’s Dream.” The company held a “Kilometers for Kelsey” 5K fun run in order to benefit a local Mifflinburg organization known as Kelsey’s Dream, a group that supports children with cancer. By selling t-shirts featuring an American flag made up of bison, they were able to help fund some of the organization’s projects. Even with some troubling weather issues on the day of the run, nothing would stop Company A from meeting their goals.

“We had some unexpected hail and rain, and we were hoping to get the majority of our race sign-ups the day of the event. Our company was close to canceling the whole event the day of the race. However, despite the freezing conditions, we decided not to cancel and move forward with the race. I was so proud of our company that day, because it was great to see how quickly we made contingency plans and all came together to make a great race. We were able to get a huge tent from TKE, and one of the fraternity brothers, Tyler Bell ’15, helped us set up the whole thing. In the end, it was a great race,” VP of Service Marissa Hosker ’17 said.

Kelsey’s Dream was grateful throughout the entire process, and Company A was able to make lasting impressions on both members of their own group as well as members of the surrounding community. Many local businesses helped sponsor Company A’s efforts, and Kelsey’s Dream has even suggested that the MGMT 101 students apply for internships within their organization.

Although Company B had a different type of community service project, they were able to help the local area just as much with their “Map to Bridge the Gap” project. By selling a unique product–a map of downtown housing in Lewisburg–Company B was able to create the first children’s play garden in Lewisburg. The group was able to use its funding to create an area that puts a focus on education and imagination through nature as well as a scavenger hunt for different natural items throughout the park.

“The children’s play garden our company helped to plan and create is an outdoor educational space where preschool and lower school aged children can go to socialize and play, as well as grow and develop. Our company had three workdays where we went to the BVRA [Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority] to physically construct the play garden. Overall, I believe our company has left a lasting impact not only in Management 101 but on the Lewisburg community as well,” VP of Service Madison Farley ’17 said.

Additionally, a sneak peek event was held for the first time the park would be open to the public. Over 15 families attended, including University President John Bravman and his two sons. The prevalence of technology in the everyday lives of children, from TVs to iPads to video games, was the main reason for creating this initiative of supplying an open outside area for the children of the Lewisburg community to interact and open their minds.

Company C also sold a unique product in their efforts to create awareness regarding clean water in both Lewisburg as well as abroad. The first group in MGMT 101 to ever sell belts, Company C teamed up with the Lewisburg Neighborhood Coalition in order to help the community take care of our local rivers. Not only did Company C hope to raise awareness about improving water conditions, but they helped people get involved (more than 200 people, in fact). Donations, a block party for awareness, and action through two river cleanups all helped achieve the group’s objectives. By filling up 47 trash bags full of waste from the river banks and donating more than $1,500 dollars to “charity: water” to help developing communities create their own source of clean water, Company C made a major impact.

“They tell you when you begin Management 101 that ‘service is at the heart of your company.’ Company C definitely adhered to that statement, and it was so rewarding to see the effect we had on our local community. Coming in, I didn’t know anyone, and now I have 28 great friends. MGMT 101 definitely pushes you, but in the end, I’m so glad I was able to take the class, and I know I will carry this experience with me for my whole life,” CEO Meghan Byrd ’16 said.

By advocating sustainability and creating awareness for such an important environmental issue, Company C met its goals for the semester. Additionally, the Lewisburg Neighborhood Coalition plans on reusing Company C’s plans for a river cleanup program for years to come.

Working with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Company D created a suicide awareness walk. By selling socks with different designs of Bison logos, the group was able to fund their community service efforts. Their three-part process included a guest speaker, the walk, and a Bucknell Fund. Drexel student Drew Bergman visited the University to tell students about his history of depression. Following Bergman’s speech, Company D prepared for their walk.

“The next aspect, the walk, was our main event. At it we had two speakers who briefly spoke, and then over 160 participants came together as one and walk around campus. Our goal here was to show that no one is alone, and that depression is something that needs to be brought out in the open and not brushed under the rug. We raised over $4,500 in donations alone,” CEO Tristan Yapalater ’17 said.

Finally, with the Bucknell Fund, Company D managed to work with Psychological Services thanks to the money earned from their custom socks. With Psychological Services in charge of the fund, any faculty member or student can utilize the fund in order to raise suicide awareness at the University and the local community.

“The most rewarding part of this class was knowing that we really did make a difference and did something that has the potential to change and save lives. Our company worked extremely hard in every aspect to make this a possibility, and through that we created an incredibly strong community within the company,” Yapalater said.

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