Eller College Wraps Up Another Semester of Service

May 12, 2014

This semester, 200 undergraduate students at the UA Eller College of Management completed consulting projects for 19 nonprofit client organizations in Southern Arizona.

Eller College Wraps Up Another Semester of Service

TUCSON,  Ariz. – This semester, 200 undergraduate students at the UA Eller College of  Management completed consulting projects for 19 nonprofit client organizations  in Southern Arizona.

And  that was just the tip of the service iceberg. 
“Not only is Eller a nationally recognized, highly-ranked business school, it  is also an organization that embeds service throughout its mission,” said Eller  College dean (and alumnus) Len Jessup. “It’s why we’re here: to serve the  community, our region, and the state, on a daily basis.”

Dean  Jessup and Pam Perry, director of undergraduate programs, report that the  Millennial generation seems focused not just on the bottom line, but also on  contributing to making the world a better place. The 200 students who worked  for nonprofit clients this semester all self-selected into a track of their  required business communication course that is specifically focused on  corporate social responsibility.

In  addition to undergraduate consulting projects for nonprofit organizations,  other undergraduate Eller students as well as MBA and professional masters  students, also bring fresh thinking to small businesses, the public sector, and  major regional employers through class projects.

Close  to 70 undergraduate marketing students, for example, worked all semester to  develop and execute a campaign to build awareness of the Modern Streetcar for  the City of Tucson. Eleven teams of Master of Accounting students, trained by  accounting faculty and Protiviti, worked with small businesses including Monkey  Burger and Faith Community Academy to assess internal control structure,  identify strengths and weaknesses, and recommend improvements. MBA students  scoped and tackled complex organizational challenges for nine clients this  semester, including Sunquest and La Posada Senior Housing. Through the  Chase-supported Eller Economic Development program, 36 undergraduates worked  with eight South Tucson entrepreneurs to identify challenges and support growth  through a small business consulting course. An MIS master's course just  completed projects for Pima County, the City of Tucson Fire Department, and  Vantage West. And the 41 students of an MBA operations management class  took on seven projects involving process improvement, cost savings, and access  to care for their client, UA Health Plans.

Eller students also logged hundreds of volunteer hours. On  April 25, 74 Eller undergraduates served at Myers-Ganoung Elementary School as  part of Spring Junior Achievement Day; students involved with Arizona Refugee  Connections secured 21 bikes for local refugees at their annual drive on April  5; 35 MBA students spent a Saturday cleaning up Mission View Elementary School  in January; 400 accounting students provided free tax preparation service  through the United Way and the VITA program; 900 undergraduates volunteered  throughout the community in October as part of Make a Difference Day; and many  more gave back through their student organizations and Greek life.

The Economic and Business Research Center (EBR) at the Eller  College also has a service-focused mission. In addition to being the region’s  key provider of economic forecasting, EBR also launched the free Arizona’s  Economy app for iPhone and Android in December to provide leaders in government  and public policy with real-time, dynamic data about the region. EBR is also  collaborating with Southern Arizona Leadership Council and United Way on a  dashboard project that will track the health of the region’s economy through an  accessible, real-time data visualization interface.

“I believe in servant leadership,” Jessup said. “Service is  part of my personal mission in life. When I get to the end of my path, I want  to know that I have had the best impact on the most people I can in life.  That’s why this service emphasis in Eller is so important to me and why I’m so  proud of the tremendous impact that Eller and its students have in Tucson every  single day.”