The following is a release from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis:
When digital recording provider Word Systems, Inc. sought to find new ways to use a certain type of software, they enlisted undergraduate students from the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.
“We wanted to explore other applications for our iRecord software, which is currently used by law enforcement agencies when they conduct interviews during investigations,” explained Christy Walchle, vice president at Word Systems, which distributes and markets the iRecord software. “We’ve never explored other applications for the product before, and we realized these student teams could give us insight we may not have considered.”
Junior-level students enrolled in Kelley’s Integrative Core (I-Core) Program helped the company identify innovative uses for its product and how it could expand to different markets.
“The students brought in a lot of great ideas that we’d never thought of before,” said Walchle. “This experience allowed us to think outside the box. You come to a point in business when you think you know everything about a certain product or application. When the Kelley students and professors ask you questions you may not have asked yourself, you realize what you don’t know. It puts us back in the classroom, as well.”
It was a similar experience for IMMI, a Westfield-based company that designs, tests and manufactures advanced safety systems like seatbelts for school buses.
“As a global company based here in central Indiana, IMMI is thrilled to partner with the Kelley School at IUPUI to grow and develop the region’s next generation of business leaders,” said Julie Cooley, director of corporate marketing and communications at IMMI.
IMMI worked with student teams during the fall 2016 semester, and company representatives have already signed up to participate in I-Core again this fall.
“When we give the students real-world scenarios to work through, not only do we help them, but they also help us,” said Cooley. “I-Core is a tremendous program because it’s mutually beneficial. The Kelley students at IUPUI are extremely engaged and are delightful to work alongside.”
Guiding future business leaders: Sign up today
The Kelley School of Business at IUPUI is again looking for central Indiana businesses to partner with undergraduate student teams for its renowned I-Core Program.
I-Core is a distinguishing component of the Kelley bachelor’s degree program. Junior-level students take a set of four integrated classes—marketing, finance, supply chain management and team dynamics and leadership—during a single semester.
Kelley students say I-Core is one of the most meaningful experiences of their Kelley careers—a rite of passage toward understanding the business world and the value of teamwork.
Company representatives say the program provides insights into future opportunities, and it allows them to think about products and services in ways they may not have before.
Students may consider new goods or services, providing a feasibility study of the new product and market. They will determine if return on investment justifies risk and capital investment.
“I recommend this to any company looking to expand its current market or explore new ways of growing business,” added Walchle. “It was rewarding to give back to these business students and guide them through this process.”
“I was impressed with the level of engagement I had with students,” said Mike Patterson, vice president of strategy at Rook Security. “Throughout the semester, they communicated with me regularly as they considered new ways to market two of our newest products.”
“Students give you a new and modern perspective,” explained Daniel Reyzman, BS’10, MBA’15, senior manager, tax product at First Advantage Tax Consulting Services, LLC. “Participating in this program allowed us to build rapport with future business leaders. I believe if you can contribute to students’ growth and learning, you’re contributing to our future as a business—and the future of our economy here in central Indiana, as well.”
How to get involved
Please request and complete an application if you’d like your business to be involved.
Any for-profit organization can apply. The ideal company for I-Core is an S Corporation, C Corporation or LLC that has been operating for three to five years and has shown an operating profit for at least one year.
Several teams of undergraduate students (directed by a Kelley professor) will meet with company representatives to establish projects that work to benefit the company. Students conduct research, analyze findings and provide a recommendation at the end of the semester. This provides companies with a diversity of ideas and perspectives.
Company representatives are asked to participate in an on-campus meeting to talk about the company’s current business and provide background information to help student analysis.
If you would like more information on this program, or to request an application, contact Teresa Bennett at [email protected] or at (317) 278-9173.