Friday, February 21, 2014

More than 100 companies recruit business students at annual winter job fair

More than 100 major companies sought the talent their businesses need at The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) annual winter job fair on February 7 in the UT Student Union. Among the nationally recognized companies which participated were Coca Cola, Best Buy, Chrysler, DHL, Marathon, HCR ManorCare, Westfield Group and Kroger.

More than 475 COBI students attended the event.

“The tremendous participation of so many well-known businesses at our semi-annual COBI job fair reflects very positively on the quality of both our programs and our students,” noted Terribeth Gordon-Moore, COBI Senior Associate Dean. “It also demonstrates the extremely dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by COBI and major national recruiting companies such as Enterprise, Healthcare REIT, Huntington and Cooper Tire & Rubber.

“Employers are looking for undergraduate students to participate in business internships and their leadership development programs, as well as for seniors and graduates seeking full-time employment,” she added. “We also strongly encourage our freshmen students to attend the job fair, engage these company representatives now and begin a relationship with these employers.” 

“This job fair is part of what we do to prepare our students for their futures,” Gordon-Moore explained, adding that the college’s Business Career Programs office works year-round to assist students in acquiring internships and jobs upon graduation.  “We strive to provide the necessary resources so our students can conduct their own tailored job searches.”

More than 85% of COBI students participate in internships, and the job placement rate for COBI graduates is greater than 80%, even in recent economic times.

Company nominations now being accepted for UT College of Business annual Human Resource Management Award for Excellence

The Human Resources Management Excellence Awards were established in 1998 by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) Department of Management to encourage and recognize excellent progress and achievement in the field of human resource management among area organizations.

“These awards are given annually to an individual or HR department having a profound impact on their organization’s performance through demonstrated commitment, innovation and leadership in the human resource function,” noted Dr. Clinton Longenecker, COBI Professor of Management and chair of the Awards Selection Committee. 

Nominations are being accepted from now through March 30, 2014.  Anyone can nominate any organization, including their own.  
To nominate an organization, email the following information to

-          Nominator’s name, title, name of nominator’s organization, and contact information

-          Name of the nominated human resource department along with contact information for someone within that HR department

-          A paragraph describing why this HR department is deserving of this recognition.
Nominated organizations will be contacted and asked to provide additional information

Winners must have at least one designated HR practitioner; be actively involved in the continued development and improvement of their organization’s HR function; make significant contributions to improve organizational performance through their collective HR efforts; and provide vision, guidance and leadership in developing or improving the major HR practices in their organization.
The awards will be presented on May 13, 2014 at the Toledo Area Human Resource Association meeting in Perrysburg.

Previous Human Resource Management Award for Excellence winners include, Spangler Candy Company, SSOE, Mercy Health Partners, Owens Corning and Sauder Woodworking.

COBI Alumni Affiliate Celebrity Wait Night set for March 24 at Ciao! Ristorante

Ciao! Ristorante will be the location of the 2014 COBIAA Celebrity Wait Night event. This event raised over $8,000 for the Lawrence V. Conway Business Alumni Scholarship in 2013.The 2014 event will take place on Monday, March 24. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Please make plans to join us and help us raise much-needed scholarship money for our students!  To reserve a spot at this great event, call 800.235.6766.

Business, engineering students work together in NSF funded project to advance entrepreneurship

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and College of Engineering students are participating in an innovative merging of classes this semester to learn how to take creative product ideas and develop them into profitable businesses.

Students in three classes - - Entrepreneurship, taught by Dr. Sonny Ariss; Business Law, taught Dr. Brandon Cohen; and the Bioengineering Senior Design class, taught by Dr. Ronald Fournier - - are working together in 12 teams, with mentors available to each team.

The University of Toledo is one of only four locations in the United States participating in this program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and developed in conjunction with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

According to the National Science Foundation, Innovation Corps (I-Corps) is a set of activities and programs that prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory.

Combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum, I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants.

"This is an inaugural and very special program at the University," Dr. Cohen said.  "It’s a three year grant at $100,000 annually to develop, train and coach 30 eTeams per year who will learn the 'Lean Launch' curriculum and integrate the training into customer discovery during the year-long Senior Design Course. Students bring and share different perspectives from their inter-disciplinary classes, and each has to understand the value of what the other brings. They're here to be critical thinkers."

With a product idea in place, teams develop their business models utilizing the Lean Launch Pad system, which focuses on nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.

Dr. Ariss added, “Entrepreneurship is launching a new venture, whether it occurs by starting your own company or by starting a new venture within the corporate business structure, known as intrapreneurship. This trend is becoming very important today because corporate America is looking for innovative thinking from their employees. Many large corporations such as Google, Intel, and 3M have created funds for their employees to fund an innovative idea within their corporate structures to help the growth of the company in the long run."

"Learning the business model canvas of the Lean Launch NSF program will help train our students to make a decision whether to launch their own venture or scrap it with minimal cost,” Dr. Ariss said.

Dr. Cohen told the students, "90% of all businesses fail.  The Lean Launch concept, which emphasizes the 'sell, then build' philosophy, helps you figure out if your idea has a place in the marketplace. If people are not willing to pay for it, it probably does not solve a large enough problem."

Each team receives up to $1,000 to develop a prototype of their product.

"If any design/product idea has market viability after going through the business canvassing process in class, that eTeam has a much higher success rate in getting NSF SBIR program funding," he said. "The over-arching theme here is that technology startups are not like big companies. Entrepreneurs find a market need and then find a solution that the market is willing to pay for. Sometimes you fail during the discovery phase; sometimes you pivot and move in a new direction. As long as you follow the process to its conclusion and continue to learn during the process, any result in this class is good because knowledge is a key driver of success and the ultimate reward."

Dr. Fournier said, "Bringing engineering and business students together on design project teams is unique in academia. It brings a synergistic perspective to the design process, gives the students the opportunity to learn from one another and see what the real world of business is actually like."