March 2017 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Guest Blogger: Dr. Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Dean, Cameron School of Business
In support of UNC Wilmington’s responsibility to be engaged in the community, Cameron School of Business students devote hundreds of hours to working in the community through true volunteerism or experiential learning. Many paths lead our students out the doors of Cameron and to neighborhoods to represent Cameron and serve the community:
- A required course for all business students, Business Essentials, requires students to provide five hours of community service as part of the curriculum. This summer, business students are serving meals at The Salvation Army; working at UNCW’s Recycling Center; fulfilling local church missions, and participating in fundraising efforts. In this course alone, Cameron students are providing more than 1,500 hours of service to the community each year.
- Business students participate in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). This program provides low and moderate-income individuals and families with free income tax preparation assistance through IRS-certified volunteers. This program provides both a valuable service to the local community and a powerful hands-on learning experience for students by taking the theory they have learned in class and applying it to real-life clients and situations.
- One of Cameron’s marketing students applied for an internship with the Wilmington YMCA during her junior year. After only a few months, the YMCA offered her a part-time position. Upon her graduation, they created a full-time position for her to serve as marketing and communications coordinator. In the spring, this alumna reached out to her alma mater to hire interns to assist with the YMCA’s marketing and resource development departments.
- In the spring of 2016, two sections of a marketing class taught by Lisa Scribner, Ph.D., conducted research on behalf of nCino. Student groups analyzed global banking trends and opportunities for this bank operating-software company. Students presented their findings to top-level executives, vice presidents and the CEO of nCino.
- The MBA Learning Alliance exposes first-year MBA student teams to the realities and complexities of business operations by forming an alliance with regional business clients of the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). The teams provide the firms with significant and current business analyses. The MBA teams complete a project over the course of a semester, which culminates in realistic strategic recommendations to the firm.
A current partner in the Learning Alliance is Tayloe, Gray and Kristof (TGK), a full-service digital marketing and creative services agency. Andrew Gray, one of the firm’s partners and its chief technology officer, has experienced the MBA Learning Alliance as a Cameron student and as a client. “We have really enjoyed the process and the efforts by the students. Going through the program has also motivated us to think about our product and some ideas that are not being covered by the students. Overall, I would highly recommend anyone who runs a business to participate, even if they feel like they don’t need help. It is always a good idea to get a fresh perspective.”
What can Cameron’s students do for you?