One of the benefits of a Peter J. Tobin College of Business education is real-world experience gained in the course of one’s studies.
Since 2011, some of that experience has been provided by management courses that require sophomores and seniors to provide consulting service to local enterprises and nonprofits as part of the Academic Service Learning program.
Each semester, a non-profit organization comes to the faculty for consultation with the sophomore students. That consultation results in a case study, written by Assistant Professor of Management Niall C. Hegarty, Ed.D., which is used as a learning tool in every sophomore MGT 2301 class.
The same organization then comes back the next semester to receive strategy consultation from seniors in MGT 4329, who advise them on the direction of their organization over the next three to five years.
“Typically, these students work on immediate solutions to problems an organization is experiencing, such as a lack of volunteers, how to fundraise, and how to improve social media,” said Hegarty. “We have many sections running, with four to five students from each section selected to present their findings and recommendations to the executives of the organization.”
On Saturday, Dec. 9, ten groups presented their findings to the two participating organizations: the YWCA Queens in Flushing and the North Shore Learning Center in Staten Island.
Emmanuel R. Wheager, the executive director of the North Shore Learning Center, was impressed.
“The students clearly understood what our shortcomings were after doing a SWOT analysis,” he said. “They made recommendations and we are implementing some of them.”
Some of those recommendations included revising the NSLC’s mission statement, changing the look of the website, and making greater use of social media to promote its programs.
A highlight of this year’s presentations was the sourcing of $50,000 in donations for the NSLC by Assistant Professor of Management Ingrid D. Fray, D. Mgmt.’s class.
“In my view, the ASL program has three objectives,” said Hegarty. “It assists non-profits to better satisfy their mission, it satisfies St. John’s University’s mission of helping the community, and it helps Tobin to satisfy its teaching mission by exposing students to consulting work.”
Previous organizations served by ASL include Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.