By Erin Cook – This fall, Professor Shelly McVay is again teaching Business 406 – “Business Problems and Policies,” a business capstone course focusing on entrepreneurship. The goal of the course is for students combine all the elements of business that they have learned throughout their time at Jewell. Professor McVay’s objective is for students to leave the BUS 406 course ready to enter the workplace as critical thinkers. She says that she constantly reminds her students that she wants them to be prepared for the tasks their bosses will hand them. She feels that her job is to make sure the students have been exposed to various situations and have had the opportunities to try and to also fail in a safe learning environment so they will know how to succeed when it matters.
Students will create entrepreneurial concepts throughout the course and, and these concepts will be judged using a “Shark Tank” model. Shark Tank is a reality television series on ABC. It features aspiring entrepreneur-contestants as they make business presentations to a panel of “shark” investors, who then choose whether to invest in each entrepreneur’s business or products. In December, the students’ work in the course will be judged by local entrepreneurs. This year the judges will include the following:
- Teddi Hernandez, local entrepreneur
- Ryan Harwell, a Jewell Alum who currently works at the Federal Reserve
- Buzz Willard, Jewell Trustee Emeritus and entrepreneur
- Shannon Oleen, Jewell alum and entrepreneur
Aside from this semester-long project (which is broken into several phases), students participate in several case studies, in-class role-plays, and mini-cases. These elements are designed to allow students to practice in several different ways and from several angles how to assess information, analyze data, get to hidden facts, and synthesize information to make reasoned recommendations.