News & Releases

Alexander Brannan, Lily Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel BakerHow sweet it is.

Marketing majors from Temple University’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) won the parent organization’s annual Collegiate Case Competition by delivering a marketing strategy for a product from event sponsor The Hershey Company.

The Temple AMA team took top honors ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University, and Ferris State University, among other tough competitors. The team of marketing students from the Fox School of Business assembled a thorough, research-driven marketing plan for Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blast Chews, emerging from a field of 91 college chapters to claim first place in the prestigious competition for the first time. The $3,000 top prize will be allotted toward defraying costs related to next year’s case competition, the team said.

“This puts our chapter on the map,” said junior Lily Tran. “Now, other chapters across the country and internationally will look to us as a prime example of what it takes to win.”

The Temple AMA all-junior presentation team comprised Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel Baker, and Alexander Brannan. The written case team included seniors Taylor Sauder, Rachel Zydyk, and Jennifer McGill. Temple AMA was one of 10 national finalists invited to deliver a presentation at the AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-20 in New Orleans.

The final presentation culminated more than seven months of original research, situation analysis, conducting focus groups and surveys, and marketing recommendations by the Temple AMA team. The group had submitted its written case to AMA in December and, one month later, learned that it had been selected as one of the 10 finalists. From there, they delivered a number of “dry-run presentations,” said Dr. Craig Atwater, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and one of Temple AMA’s three faculty advisors.

Photo of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Collegiate Case Competition award.“Our team took tips from the faculty members and PhD students to whom they made their practice presentations and fine-tuned the presentation until it was perfectly polished,” Atwater said. “Their focus groups and taste tests also helped our students determine that the product’s positioning was ambiguous. It’s not a gum, as it dissolves within 15 seconds, and yet it’s not a mint. It’s instead classified within a subcategory, as a power-mint. Our students found that for millennials, who enjoy trying new things, this product is cool and fun, but they found that it also required an explanation.”

Those elements proved critical to the Temple AMA team’s presentation, which the group delivered before a trio of high-ranking executives from Hershey. Then, the marketing students waited until all other names had been announced before celebrating their victory.

“While awaiting the results, I remember counting the spots and losing count because my heart started to pound,” said Harris. “TU-AMA is improving in reputation thanks to our incredible faculty advisors – Dr. Craig Atwater, Professor Jim Thompson, and Dr. Drew Allmond – our talented Fox School professors, and the support of the Marketing department.”

Added Baker: “I believe our success is a direct tribute to Temple University’s dedicated faculty, who over the past three years have consistently encouraged innovation in team settings, fostered perseverance, taught us how to think strategically, and have pushed us to reach our potential.”

Molly Belmont
Molly Belmont

Molly Belmont, a Risk Management and Insurance student from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) Student White Paper Research Contest.

A junior, Belmont won the AAMGA competition’s Technology and Wholesaler category for her paper, “Internet of Things Insurance, Opportunities, and Threats.”

In her paper, Belmont focused on three distinct areas – the connected home, the connected car, and the connected self – and discussed benefits and potential flaws in the collection of data through the Internet of Things IoT.

“While these devices can help insurance companies price better premiums and lower risk, and can also better educate the consumer and help them identify exactly what they’re paying for, there is a cyber risk involved with these devices that most companies didn’t necessarily consider,” said Belmont, a native of Malvern, Pa. “These systems can be hacked and create unforeseen dangers.”

Belmont said the paper was the culmination of more than one month’s work, during which time she utilized more than 20 sources. She said it was the first writing competition in which she’s taken the top prize. Belmont credited Fox School Assistant Professor Storm Wilkins with the encouragement to enter the competition.

For her winning entry, Belmont will receive a scholarship totaling $1,000; an all-expenses-paid trip and registration for the 90th AAMGA Annual Meeting, to be held May 22-25 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.; an opportunity to shadow an AAMGA member during his or her meetings at the conference; and publication of her paper in the May issue of Wholesale Insurance News magazine, which is distributed to more than 1.4 million insurance professionals in more than 40 countries globally.

“I’ve been looking into the schedule of events and the networking opportunities available at the conference,” said Belmont, who this summer will serve as a benefits intern in the Philadelphia office of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. “I wasn’t expecting to win, so it’s a big thrill.”

Read about the 2015 research contest winner, Hayley Leather.

All business plans for the  Be Your Own Boss Bowl (BYOBB) competition are due this Tuesday, March 17 at 11:59 p.m. Competitors will submit their plans to https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/byobb2015 and BYOBB finalists will be announced by April 1. As a reminder, you must include three items in your application:

If you have any questions about the BYOBB competition please look at the BYOBB website, email iei@temple.edu or call 215-204-3082 for more information.  We will have people standing by until 8:00 pm on March 17th to answer questions. 

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BYOBB2015 to join in on the conversation. 

2012 Innovative Idea Finalists Announced

October 12, 2012 //

Congratulations to our 12 finalists in the 15th annual Innovative Idea Competition! Come see them pitch their idea and vote for the People’s Choice Awards at the Innovative Idea Awards competition on Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 from 4-6PM in the Undergraduate Commons in Alter Hall (under the ticker tape). Click here to register now.

Bake-A-Case  – Matthew Condello (Fox School of Business)
BookExchange – Dante Peters (Fox School of Business)
Electro-Neural-Catheter –  Pradeep Selvan  (School of Medicine)
GymNet – Frank Pelletier (College of Science & Technology)
Medical Comparison Tool –  Gary Cheung (College of Science & Technology)
Nimble-Green – Michael Jackson (College of Engineering)
OfficeRate.com – Jonathan Reiter & Ross Reiter (Fox School of Business)
Preserve Philly – Dylan Baird (Fox School of Business)
Reframes –  Nathaly Ramos (College of Liberal Art)
Study Songs – John Turner (Alum ’12),  Rashidah Andrews (Faculty & Student), Chalon Downs  (Faculty), Nneka Kirkland (Faculty)
Touchrounds – Alejandro Gonzalez (Temple University Hospital) & Anar Mikailov (School of Medicine)
UpgradeMySeats – Matt Cassidy (Fox School of Business)

Jennifer O’Malley, a junior management information systems (MIS) major at the Fox School of Business, recently pitched an idea to pharmaceutical giant Merck to develop a medicine-identification tool that can be likened to facial recognition for pills.

O’Malley is now leading a team of three other Fox School students on a project-based internship to develop the idea. But she might not have gotten the opportunity without her e-portfolio.

An e-portfolio, also known as an electronic resume, is a required assignment for all Fox School undergraduates and a prime example of the power of the Management Information Systems Department’s Community site – a social education initiative that integrates learning, teaching, professional development, placement and administration through open-source software and social media.

O’Malley was identified as a candidate for the Merck internship because Laurel Miller, director of Fox’s Institute for Business and Information Technology, found O’Malley’s work through a new e-portfolio search engine that uses specific profile fields such as skills and interests. Miller identified a group of potential students and sent their e-portfolios to Merck managers.

“I’m sure my GPA and proposal helped, but I was also able to highlight all my experiences and skills on my e-portfolio,” O’Malley said.

The e-portfolio initiative includes custom design elements, workshops and tutorials for creating effective and engaging content, and the search engine for employers to find students by relevant criteria. To show up in the search engine, students must submit their e-portfolio for listing. Students also learn about and use analytics for search engine optimization and online-reputation management.

“E-portfolios are an effective tool for students to actively control and manage their digital identities and reputations so that they can get the best internships and jobs,” said Miller, who is leading the initiative. “The e-portfolio is designed to be more formal than a Facebook page but more creative and open than a LinkedIn profile.”

The Fox MIS Department’s Community site continues to grow stronger and now has more than 825 active e-portfolios; 1,845 unique blogs; and 3,402 registered members among students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The site is managed from the MIS community platform, a set of software tools and templates based on WordPress and BuddyPress that promote social education by enabling connections, community building and content management.

“Every member – student, faculty, staff and alumni – is a socially connected content generator and manager,” said David Schuff, Fox’s director of innovation in learning technologies and an associate professor of MIS. “The success of these initiatives requires changes in thinking among faculty, staff and students, as they must diverge from their traditional roles and see themselves as ‘co-creators’ of content.”

Assistant Professor Steven L. Johnson maintains a blog on the Community site that features news and videos, a link to his Twitter profile, and a listing of current and past MIS courses he teaches.

“The community site is an excellent platform for students to gain first-hand experience in creating, configuring and maintaining their own social media presence,” Johnson said. “It helps students transition from casual personal use to a professionally oriented online identity.”

Ann Taylor has been working hard to change its image of an outdated, mature, and stiff clothing brand to a more stylish approach.  Originally coined “frumpy mom clothing” Ann Taylor now has targeted their image to a more fashion forward, young professional demographic.   It seems they have succeeded by creating corporate attire that is both fresh and chic for the female millennial generation.  Another indicator of success from Ann Taylor’s enhanced image: “Ann Taylor and Loft stores, 3rd quarter profit rose by 33 percent in November” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ann Taylor has created a lookbook of students from different universities across the country featuring the retailers clothing.  The students discuss where they are at now, where they would like to be, and the importance of creating and sustaining a professional image.

Ann Taylor - New Student Style

University of Kentucky student Tess is equally aware of the importance of dressing to impress.
She added: ‘Whether I decide on law school or graduate school presenting yourself in a polished manner is key when looking for a job or working with clients.’

A quick introduction from the New Style for Students – Ann Taylor website :

New semester. New Style for Students! Welcome to our online lookbook, featuring students from across the country who want to be chic and successful in every facet of their lives. We created this lookbook as a resource for you to share your thoughts on careers and style, get great fashion advice for interviews (and for every day) and valuable career inspiration as you get ready to take the next step

Could it be, retailers are finally catching on to the rise of females in the workplace thus providing more corporate AND fashionable clothing?

Click here to view the Ann Taylor Look Book for Students

Please let me know what your thoughts are on females and fashionable professional dress options.

Wenhao Zuo and Pete Grant, Fox School finance and international business double majors, have been named Financial Management Association (FMA) Collegiate Fellows – a title only 23 students nationwide received this year.

Peter Grant
Peter Grant

Zuo and Grant are president and vice president, respectively, of the Fox School’s FMA chapter and both received the Collegiate Fellows Recognition. Additionally, the Fox chapter was named a Superior Chapter for the eighth consecutive year, a status that less than 5 percent of chapters nationwide receive annually.

“The recognition we won is kind of a three-prong thing,” Grant said. “Your chapter has to do well so you get recognized at the national level from FMA, then you have to get recognized from your school and also from your chapter.”

Since Zuo and Grant joined FMA, they have reversed membership numbers and now attract anywhere from 40 to 70 members to the organization’s weekly meetings. They have launched two major school-wide events – a finance career expo and financial case competition – have planned trips to Chicago and New York, and have hosted top executive speakers from leading financial firms.

Wenhao Zuo
Wenhao Zuo

“This year all of our corporate speakers have been at a VP level or higher,” Grant said.

By reaching out to personal contacts and establishing new connections, Zuo and Grant have managed to bring in executives from Lincoln Financial Group, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential, Delaware Valley Financial Group and Wells Fargo Wealth Management Group, among others. This year the CEO from North Star Financial Group flew to Philadelphia from Texas to speak at one of FMA’s weekly meetings.

By mid-November, Zuo and Grant said they already had most of the organization’s spring semester planned, and they are going full speed ahead with the finance career expo, case competition, a trip to the national FMA conference in Chicago, a visit to the New York Stock Exchange and Bloomberg, in addition to more speakers.

Both Zuo and Grant said they appreciate the support their FMA advisor, Assistant Professor Steven Casper, has given to the organization. “Our faculty advisor plays a huge role because he allows us to lead and at the same time guides us to lead and bring up new ideas like the career expo and case competition,” Zuo said.

Zuo and Grant joined FMA early in their college careers. Now, as graduating seniors with jobs at top financial firms already in place, they could not be happier they did so.

“I can’t imagine life without FMA,” Zuo said.

Temple senior Brittany Rogers will make history tonight at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory in Northeast Philadelphia when she becomes the youngest female boxing promoter in the country. “I got interested in it because my father was an amateur fighter, and it was just always in my bloodline. The fights were always on at my house.” Rogers, who majors in sports and recreational management, said school has helped her a lot. Her big assignment this semester is to create a marketing plan for her company, Bam Boxing Promotions. Temple professor Joris Drayer said he wishes more students had Rogers’ motivation and courage.

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/nwt-full-shows/item/27455-philadelphia-student-to-become-youngest-female-boxing-promoter

Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115, blausch@temple.edu

This year’s annual Relay for Life proved to be the most successful to date in Temple University’s eight-year history of holding the fundraising event.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered in the Student Pavilion for an overnight celebration on March 25-26 to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s mission to find a cure.

The goal to raise $60,000 before August 2011, when fundraising officially ends, was nearly met the night of Relay for Life, as 1,200 participants on 140 teams raised more than $57,000. This is $2,500 more than was raised in last year’s efforts, representing a 6 percent increase overall.

The success of this year’s event was made possible in part from the participation of 136 Fox School students in 17 teams from 13 student professional organizations. Fox School students represented more than 10 percent of participants and raised nearly $2,000 with the International Business Association, Business Honors Students Association, Beta Alpha Psi and National Association of Black Accountants leading the way.

“Overall, the 2011 Relay For Life of Temple University exceeded all expectations and continues to be a growing event on campus,” said David Kaiser, director of enrollment management at Fox and adviser to the university-wide organization College Against Cancer, which runs the event.

During this year’s opening ceremonies, Fox School alumnus Eric Stephenson and his fraternity brother, Israel, shared their inspirational story of walking 140 miles from Connecticut to Relay for Life in Philadelphia. Cancer survivors kicked off the night with a survivor lap around the track to the sound of thunderous applause, joined by all other participants for the second lap.

Every participant took that lap around the track to represent Temple’s overwhelming desire to find a cure for this disease, Kaiser said.

“Along with the success in numbers, the event succeeded in bringing together the Temple community to celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer,” he added.

–  Julie Achilles

Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115, blausch@temple.edu

Tim Buckman is a graduating senior majoring in finance and international business with a minor in Spanish. He served as president of the Temple University Investment Association (TUIA) and the William C. Dunkelberg Owl Fund. He has been hired as a business valuation associate with Deloitte. He will be the student speaker at the Fox School of Business and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management commencement ceremony on May 12.

Are you nervous to speak at graduation?

Not really. I came in as a very quiet freshman, which is actually what my whole speech is about: the changes you go through while you’re at Temple. I never would have thought I would be speaking at graduation, but because I needed to make the change I’m not intimidated by it at all. I’ve actually become very good at public speaking.

Is that thanks to your experience at Temple?

Yes. I think it’s because I was president of the investment association, so I was always representing our group – and talking to prospective students, which sometimes are 200 or 300 in an auditorium. I got used to speaking in front of a large group, and am very confident while doing so.

What made you choose your major and minor?

I had no idea I was going to study finance as a freshman. I had a class with [Senior Assistant Dean] Debbie Campbell the summer of my freshman year, and she really got to know me and she said to me, “You are a finance major. I don’t care what you think.” And it turns out she was right. Also, I knew I wanted to study abroad, and with that you have to take a certain level of foreign language. I had taken some Spanish in high school so I just continued with it.

How would you describe your overall experience at Temple?

I’ve liked it so much that I talk to prospective students and I always talk about how great my experience has been and I always show some pictures of study abroad. I wonder sometimes had I gone to a different school, or picked a different major, would I have had the same opportunities. And every time I always come up with not a chance.

Where did you study abroad and how was it?

I studied at Temple’s Rome campus. I learned you have to be very adaptable. Things aren’t what you’re used to. Not being able to speak Italian at all, it was very hard to get food the first couple of times, but as you got used to it, it builds your confidence and you say, “I can do this now.” I loved it so much that I was back two weeks ago for a finance conference. There were a whole bunch of presidents and CEOs, and because I already studied there I was able to say to them, “Hey, go try this place for a gelato.”

You’re a Fox ambassador. Why do you tell prospective students to chooseFox?

The opportunities we have being right in the city and the opportunity to study abroad.  Also, the connections we have with companies and just because the faculty and staff are so helpful. Just come here, work hard, and you’ll be successful. You really get out of it what you put in.

What was the biggest highlight of your time at Fox?

The two would be the study abroad and the entire involvement with the investment association. Without the investment association I would not have the job I’m going to have. And when the Phillies won the World Series, I could see the fireworks out of my dorm room.

Do you have any travel plans after graduation?

I’m going to try to learn how to whitewater kayak in North Carolina.

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?

I’ve always said I want to be a portfolio manger, particularly in international equities. That can easily change, but that’s what I’ve been after.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115, blausch@temple.edu

Dr. Neeraj Bharadwaj

About 74.5 million people in the United States age 20 and older have high blood pressure, and more than 56,000 died from the condition in 2006.

Armed with those statistics from the American Heart Association, a team of full-time MBA students at the Fox School of Business set out to market a revolutionary device: an implantable blood-pressure monitor that can mount to an artery wall and send readings to a receiver.

The piece of equipment, good for five years, could potentially be more accurate than current monitors, so a name and tagline were born: Accustat, “because you’re the heart of your family.”

The four Fox students – Mahesh Sharma, Steve Lauer, Charissa Fahnestock and Philly Zhang – who devised the name and corresponding marketing plan are just one of eight MBA teams developing marketing plans for a variety of products, ranging from a brain-to-computer interface to a rat treadmill.

But the MBAs, all students in Assistant Professor Dr. Neeraj Bharadwaj’s Marketing Strategy course, aren’t researching and marketing pretend products or those that are already on the market. Instead, through a new partnership, Bharadwaj’s students are working with undergraduate Temple engineering students who are designing products for their senior projects.

After months of e-mail correspondence and at least one face-to-face meeting, the Fox MBAs and engineering students publicly presented their plans during Senior Design Day, held Nov. 18 in the Howard Gittis Student Center.

After the engineering groups outlined their design concepts, the MBA teams explained their corresponding marketing plans, which included identifying the target market and specifying the requisite product, price, place and promotion.

For another MBA team, which produced a marketing plan for a guitar amplifier and sophisticated software package, the partnership offered a unique opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to real-world products.

“It’s different because it’s a new, innovative product and, potentially, we could actually do it,” MBA student Seth Hagarty said of his team’s marketing efforts for Victory Amplification. “It’s not just an example or a case study.”

The amplification system and software package allows amateur musicians to replicate the sounds of their favorite rock stars. To research the needs of Victory’s target market, team member Sonal Bedi said the group even spent a day with a local guitarist.

Fellow team member Kyle Dumont said the collaboration provided a good platform for student organizations – such as the MBA and MS Student Association – to further integrate and network with one another.

“Learning to communicate outside of the MBA world – that was the greatest benefit,” team member Ryan Taylor added.

Bharadwaj emphasized that the project – which evolved from a meeting this summer with Fox School Vice Dean Rajan Chandran and Engineering Associate Dean George Baran – could lead to further mentorship and additional partnerships.

The College of Engineering is equally excited. Dr. Joseph Picone, professor and chair of electrical engineering, said he couldn’t ask for a better partner.

“Especially at Fox, because Fox is such a superb school,” he said.

– Brandon Lausch

Over the summer, Fox students, staff and faculty traveled across the United States and around the world to complete prestigious internships and exchange ideas with colleagues.  See stories below.

When in Rome … study globalization

At the end of the spring semester, most students were planning their trips to the shore, but Kara Rosenberg, an international business and marketing double major at The Fox School of Business and Management, was not among them.

Rosenberg was devising a plan to start a research project on immigration in Italy.

For six weeks this summer, Rosenberg has been observing and studying the domestic and immigrant perspective in northern Italy, Rome and Sicily.

“The idea came to me while sitting in Lisa Calvano’s “Business Ethics” class last spring, and she mentioned she was doing research abroad,” said Rosenberg, a rising senior.

After writing a proposal for her project, Rosenberg was granted $2,000 by the Undergraduate Research Incentive Fund in the Vice Provost’s Office to conduct the research.

“It is very interesting to see how immigrants integrate and how a nation becomes more capable of facilitating globalization,” Rosenberg said. “Several factors facilitate globalization and the multinationalization of business, but I believe many of them are inherently cultural.”

From street merchants to university professors, Rosenberg has been conducting interviews with a variety of experts on her topic. She has spoken with both legal and illegal immigrants, as well as faculty members from the University of Rome, La Sapienza, with which Temple recently established an academic and cultural exchange.

Once her research is complete, Rosenberg will form her final paper.

“I will probably focus on the importance of intercultural sensitivity in international management situations, particularly with multinational corporations,” Rosenberg said. “I could never do this project with out the guidance of Lisa Calvano [teaching assistant], and Bob Giacalone [professor of human resources], and the support of Kim Cahill [associate director of the IGMS and CIBER] and Arvind Phatak [executive director of the IGMS and CIBER],” she added.

Doing good work Down Under

Few tales of vacation adventures could rival those of Darya Gorlova. Braving the untamed jungles of New Zealand for four weeks, this sophomore marketing major volunteered as a wildlife and habitat conservationist.

Gorlova’s interest in the intrepid expedition was first piqued when a representative for International Student Volunteers spoke in one of her classes last semester. ISV offers several travel programs combining volunteer work, recreation and education.

“I’m an outdoors person, and I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand,” Gorlova said. “The idea of going there to help conserve their unique wildlife sounded exhilarating.”

For the first two weeks, along with 41 other volunteers, Gorlova helped plant more than 1,000 trees in a community for the elderly and around an elementary school.

Gorlova also volunteered to teach elementary school students and residents in a home for the mentally disabled about the environment and about planting trees.

She spent the second two weeks of her trip exploring New Zealand and enjoying thrilling activities such as skydiving, white water rafting and hiking the Franz Joseph Glacier. Gorlova also spent a night in a Marae, the community center for the local Maori people.

“What made the trip so rewarding was ISV’s combination of volunteer work, cultural experience, and tourism and adventure,” Gorlova said.

With the Fox School of Business’ HR on the Ground course, human resource major Katharine Harned got an insider’s guide to Target. A year later, she’s a Target insider.

Harned’s story – a quick climb from student to intern to executive – is just one byproduct of a benchmark partnership between the Fox School and Target that has connected college and corporate. The Fox School has designed an experiential learning course with Target that gives undergraduates the chance to get into stores and interact with employees and executives through research assignments.

Led by Human Resource Management Instructor Katherine A. Nelson, students in HR on the Ground get to work on real issues presented by Target. They interview employees, conduct focus groups, brainstorm solutions and present their results to the company. In turn, Target gives a portion of the grade.

To Nelson, the course is a way to give undergrads real-world experience – they basically act as pro bono consultants – and to expose them to some of the tools organizations use to measure and influence employees. To local Target recruiter Nicole D’Ambrosio, it’s a chance to solve pressing issues and to see leadership in action from students who could be the Target managers of tomorrow.

To Temple students, it could be their break into a retail giant that made job offers on 295 undergraduate campuses in 2008-09, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Target is in the top 10 on the magazine’s list of Best Places to Launch a Career and in the top 20 on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

Since fall 2005, local Target recruiters have hired 36 graduating seniors from Temple as executives and an additional 28 interns – 20 of whom joined the retailer as executives after graduation.

Nelson designed HR on the Ground after Dave Caspers, Target’s Northeast regional vice president for stores human resources, visited a class of hers in 2008 to chat with students.

In Nelson’s words: “He said, ‘I would love if you could bring students into my stores and help us solve problems.’ And I said, ‘Done.’ ”

In less than a year, HR on the Ground transformed from concept to reality. The course is built on a consulting model where students, primarily juniors and seniors, sign a confidentiality agreement, track time with their “client” and get graded on a rubric based on the one Target uses with its own employees. Their modest $100-an-hour consulting fee is paid with Monopoly money.

Students rate and analyze Target stores on everything from layout and lighting to cleanliness and customer service, and company executives visit class to discuss Target’s culture and the issues they are facing.

The course, generally limited to about 15 students, aims to provide insight into how human resources management can drive company performance and to help students understand the link between employee engagement and financial results. This semester, students are examining “Reputation Management in the Age of Facebook.”

The company’s partnership with the Fox School has been so successful that local recruiters have presented it as the model for “what we want the rest of the recruiters on the East Coast to look for,” D’Ambrosio said. “Some of our biggest frustrations with campus recruiting is that sometimes we don’t think that faculty in general teach what students need to be successful in the workplace,” D’Ambrosio said of Nelson, who has more than 30 years of experience in management, business ethics and strategic communication. “What she was proposing was the answer to all of our frustrations.”

Harned, president of the Fox School’s College Council, is set to graduate May. After attending a six-week business college taught by Target, she’ll join a team of store executives responsible for day-to-day operations, including sales goals and customer service. “They throw a lot at you, and you do all the research and development,” she said of HR on the Ground, “but it prepares you more for the situations you’ll face in your career.”

When Andy Weber, president of Farm Journal, the agricultural magazine, wanted to develop a new e-commerce model for his Philadelphia-based publication, he had a problem. His company – with revenue of a little less than $50m a year – lacked a business development division or a mergers and acquisitions department.

To hire an expensive consulting group was out of the question. So he turned to a student team from Temple University’s Fox Business School in Philadelphia.

The Fox consulting group had well-known clients, Dow Chemical had demonstrated repeat business and the price was right.

Mr Weber was impressed by the students’ work. For example, the students found several of Farm Journal’s assumptions about its potential venture were wrong. Had the company acted on those assumptions, “it would have cost us a lot of time and money”, says Mr Weber.

Continue to Financial Times to read more…