A competition category for the Michigan Jaycees quarterly convention in 2009, was prepared write-ups. As a member of the Kalamazoo Jaycees, I submitted a write-up on the assigned topic, “He that cannot obey, cannot command,” which is a quote from Ben Franklin. The challenge was writing from a unique perspective. The result was my winning submission at the quarterly convention. This honor allowed me to participate in the year-end impromptu competition between all the write-up winners for the 2009 year. It was also published in the Michigan Jaycees magazine. Please read the write-up by clicking on the image below.
Startup Weekend is a community event where business ideas are pitched on a Friday evening, teams are formed for some of them, and the teams work all weekend to launch a viable company and present the results on Sunday evening in front of the community and a panel of judges.
I participated in Kalamazoo’s Startup Weekend event in November 2013 on a team with three other people. One member had pitched the idea of creating a short url for events that are located in multiple places. The information for these events tend to be long emails with multiple links, making it challenging to navigate. “Sheepdog,” the final name of the website, could “herd all the locations to one place.”
As the least technical person in the group, my role was providing feedback on the design and use, researching what was already out there, conducting interviews, and being a cheerleader. Since all we had was a total of 54 hours, staying focused and upbeat was important, which made the role of cheerleader an essential part of the team. On Saturday it looked like we might not have more than demo screen shots. By Sunday evening, we were able to provide a live demonstration. The judges placed Sheepdog in second place. The website is currently offline and is being revamped to get launched in 2014. You can follow what happens with Sheepdog on Twitter or Facebook. If you would like to view the presentation, please click on the image below:
The graduate level Business Process Management course required one main group project paper and presentation assignment. Four classmates each presented a company issue and the rest of the class could choose which issue to help solve. I chose to work with a Stryker team. The issue involved the relationship between a group at the corporate office, and those out in the field who were sent to fix items. The follow-up paperwork was not being received timely, mostly because of errors that required the paperwork be returned and resubmitted. As a group, we spoke to people in the department, looked at reports provided by the classmate leading the effort, and brainstormed ideas. We presented our ideas at the company to management and others involved, and submitted a final paper. This project would have been better as part of a full 12 week course. It was challenging to get the information we needed and set up meetings timely during six and a half weeks. The result is that Stryker has implemented the ideas presented in the paper. If you would like to read the paper, please click below:
The major project in the graduate level Human Resources Management course was to work in an assigned group of three and create a presentation for the class at a scheduled time during the semester and follow-up the presentation with a paper due at the end of the 12 week semester. The group agreed with General Electric as the company to research and present to the class. We divided the presentation into three parts: history, human resources, and business strategy. Each of us researched our areas and put together our sections and discussed within the group. We chose to present to the class as if they were new hires on orientation day, including titles. To make it more of an interactive presentation, we asked lots of questions and rewarded the attempts with chocolate candy. PowerPoint was used as the method of documenting and showcasing the presentation. The idea of orientation day was viewed as highly creative, and the overall feedback equaled a final grade for the presentation as an ‘A.’ If you would like to view a pdf of the presentation, please click on the picture below:
The major project in the graduate level Change Management course was to work in an assigned group of three and create a presentation for the class at a scheduled time during the semester and follow-up the presentation with a paper due at the end of the 12 week semester. The group agreed with General Electric as the company to research and present to the class. We divided the presentation into three parts: history, change issues, and current structure. Each of us researched our areas and put together our sections and discussed within the group. To make it more of an interactive presentation to our class, we asked questions that were rewarded with candy for participating. PowerPoint was used as the method of documenting and showcasing the presentation. We were also able to incorporate ideas from the lecture given right before our turn. The final grade for the presentation was an ‘A.’ To view the presentation, please select the image below:
The graduate level Readings in Marketing course required reading 10 business books and writing a report with reflections on each of them. This paper is the eleventh one that summaries the ten books and ties them together, along with reflections. The titles of the books had to be chosen by the start of class along with the planned order of reading them, and approved by the professor of the class. Since this was a summer session class, there was approximately seven weeks to complete the reading and writings, and it was fast paced. I decided on most of the books from a suggested reading list and what was available at the library. The books tied together well in groups for the summary, and I was able to complete in the time frame given. Reading and writing about all these books also contributed to the launch in 2012 of the Kalamazoo Business Book Club, an ongoing chance to read and discuss business books. If you would like to read the summary paper, please click the image below: