Seniors in the Walker School of Business at Mercyhurst College recently presented findings from their capstone course, Business Policy and Strategy, to local businesses for which they completed case studies.
As part of the capstone course, seniors work in groups and use their problem-solving skills in accounting, finance, management and marketing to assist a local business, organization or nonprofit agency with a real-life business concern.
Pat VanZandt Christianson, founder and executive director of one of the local beneficiaries, Therapy Dogs United, Inc. (TDU), said the experience was extremely positive and that TDU will implement several changes as a result of the students' recommendations. Among them: tighten mission statement, streamline brochure and promotional materials, and brand the existing tagline "Come. Sit. Heal." into all marketing materials. The students also identified several grant opportunities that TDU intends to pursue, she added.
Mercyhurst students working on the TDU project, under the guidance of associate business school dean Lee Belovarac, included: Alexsandra Bitz, Stephanie Frownfelter, Nick Kaiser, Ania Kwirant, Zach Rhodes, Katie Waldin and Kayleigh Woodard.
"They had such insight and such passion for what they were doing," said VanZandt Christianson. "I was very impressed."
The students delivered their findings, included in an 80-page report, to TDU's board of directors, its staff and volunteers, and also made a donation to the organization.
Among the other local organizations that received input from the Mercyhurst business majors fall term were St. Martin's Center, the Office of Adult and Graduate Programs at Mercyhurst College, Super Stitch, Inc., General Exterminating Co., the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania, Tech Solutions, Howl-A-Baloo Dog Park and Dagger-Co.