Chicago-based Kendall Provides Free Consulting Services to Local Companies as Part of New Course

CHICAGO, Illinois (Sept. 30, 2009) – Students at the Kendall College School of Business are making a difference in Chicago’s business community. The school announced today that as a result of its hands-on approach to the Business Case Development course, BUS 280, students had the opportunity to work with a live “client” and conduct formal research for various small businesses last quarter [July-September].

“When I prepared the syllabus for my session, I decided it would be more challenging and rewarding to have the students work on business cases with real clients," said Aurora Reinke, Senior Lecturer at the Kendall College School of Business. “This class offers real world, practical experience, which is the best way to prepare students for the realities of the professional world. Plus, it allows students to network and gain references outside Kendall College.”

Because many small businesses have limited resources and may not have the time, money or staff to conduct formal research studies internally, they often have certain challenges or dilemmas that remain unsolved. That is why Kendall’s free research and analysis offer as part of its BUS 280 course was quickly accepted by the following five local companies: Velosis, Standard Steel and Wire, Today’s Naturals, Tails Pet Media Group, Inc., and DQI USA, LLC.

Students were divided into teams and assigned to the project of their choice. They worked collaboratively throughout the quarter to develop a thorough analysis of each client’s proposed case. Concluding the course on September 9, each team gave their final presentation to classmates, the dean and representatives from the five participating businesses.

Through these case studies, the students provided valuable analysis and recommendations that will enable their clients to make decisions regarding startup funding options, sales and distribution channels, targeting new markets, opening new facilities, and increasing brand awareness.

As a result of the students’ exceptional feedback and input, one company plans to leverage the team’s report as a negotiating point with a key customer. One client was especially grateful for a simple recommendation made by the students which will have a significant impact on the company’s ability to secure financing in the future. Another client extended an internship opportunity to one of the students who worked on its case study.

“The approach Professor Reinke has taken on BUS 280 allows students to gain professional experience and hone teamwork and critical thinking skills,” says Michelle Coussens, Dean of the Kendall College School of Business. “Most students in this class have the goal of running a business in the future. By working with small businesses, they receive the education and exposure to entrepreneurship required to succeed in today’s changing marketplace.”

The Business Case Development course emphasizes the skills involved in identifying a business need, quantifying potential benefits, evaluating risks, identifying resources required (both financial and managerial), creating an implementation timeline and managing organizational politics.

The Kendall College School of Business teaches practical skills that define successful careers to produce graduates who are professionally savvy, globally driven, and services oriented. Its courses use tools such as situation-based challenges, living case studies, management simulations and integrative projects. While the program is innovative, the curriculum still provides the solid academic foundation found in more traditional business programs.

About Kendall College
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2009, Kendall College offers undergraduate degrees in business, early childhood education, culinary arts, psychology and hospitality management. Current enrollment is approximately 1,900 students. The school occupies a stunning “Riverworks” campus near downtown Chicago. Since 1962, it has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org, 800.621.7440); The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission has accredited the Culinary Arts Associate and Baking & Pastry Associate programs since 1988. Kendall College is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. For more information about Kendall College, visit www.kendall.edu.

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