This quarter, our professors divided students into groups, and each group was assigned an industry – industrial design, department stores retail, IT security, and employment services.
Each group received professional coaching from highly experienced business professionals. My group’s coach, George Roe – current research professor for Alaska Center for Energy and Power and past manager and engineer at Boeing – taught us to begin with the end in mind. His brilliant and thought-provoking ideas sparked hours of discussion after our meetings.
During this process, the student teams analyzed strategic focal companies. The department store group spent a day at their focal company – Nordstrom – being personally styled and visiting with executives, along the way discovering little-known facts about the Fortune 500 company. Our group played with a unique keyboard utilizing lighting to assist in and inspire people to rediscover the art of music at our focal company – Product Creation Studio – an innovative industrial design firm.
Long discussions over pizza and coffee led us to our recommendations for our focal companies moving forward. The project culminated when our teams presented in front of a large panel of executives, business elites, and other industry professionals.
Through this process many of us have been presented with job opportunities, discovered our true calling, developed deep and meaningful relationships… And run through a few punch cards at the local coffee shop across the street. But we all are definitely beginning to feel like experts in our prospective industries.