New to The University of Findlay, the Marketing Research Assistant Pilot Program (MRAPP) is an opportunity provided by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) of Ohio. The University of Findlay is one of three Ohio universities participating in this state-sponsored program to provide assistance for business growth with nearby businesses.
The SBDC specifically identifies each project a student will work on. The student will work closely with the business for 90 days to improve their financial performance in areas of marketing and logistics. One student, Sam Yates, explained, “learning the mapping software is a skill I can use in my future, and providing analysis on a business and understanding the details and facts about it are very interesting to me.” The University of Findlay has Dr. Chris Ward, a Professor of Business, to thank. She has maintained a positive relationship with the SBDC for several years and because of her credibility and past results, UF was selected to participate in the program.
Five students from the College of Business were chosen to represent The University of Findlay in this project and they’ve been assigned with their businesses. One student, Grant Covault, is “hoping to increase both short-term and long-term profitability for the business and leave with a positive lasting impression of The University of Findlay College of Business and its students.” The MRAPP is mutually beneficial to all parties involved: it provides an opportunity for small businesses to access The University of Findlay’s professors’ expertise and an opportunity for students to demonstrate their competency by applying their knowledge to current company challenges. Also, UF students and professors will interact with each other in a consulting context and those students will bring their results to the employers they are assisting. For UF’s College of Business, this is the best way to apply experiential learning.
For the city of Findlay, both UF students and professors will be contributing to the strong demand for academic programs. “Before starting the program, I thought it was a terrific idea to be a part of this as the work that was going to be done would help benefit a company’s overall success” says John Kidd. Our credibility in Columbus, Ohio will be enhanced and our future opportunities should position UF extremely well. Grant added, “It is definitely a great addition to any resume. The fact that I am supporting a local business while demonstrating an ability to be a self-starter and meet research deadlines is something many companies will see as a valued skill.”