Business and Finance Students Gain Firsthand Experience on Consulting Projects

At the College of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam School of Business enterprise, students in Professor Tracie Woidtke’s MBA and undergraduate honors economical management classes put their knowledge into follow by consulting on true tasks with corporations including HCA Healthcare, La-Z-Boy, and SmartBank.

6 groups of students obtained a opportunity venture from their assigned enterprise to appraise. The initiatives ranged from acquisitions to mergers of equals to department consolidations. Each individual team met with its husband or wife business in the course of the semester for undertaking introduction, progress consultations, and a final in-man or woman presentation of the group’s recommendations.

Jimmy Topping, a fall 2020 finance graduate, was in the team tasked with analyzing focus on companies for a prospective La-Z-Boy acquisition. He stated conference with La-Z-Boy staff who have disparate work tasks, ranging from functions technique to finance, was beneficial for him.

“The multifaceted perception aided me have an understanding of various views inside of various areas of the corporation,” Topping said. “The opinions authorized me to have a far better knowing of how mergers and acquisitions work within businesses.”

Tracie Woidtke
Professor Tracie Woidtke

Woidtke, head of the college’s finance division, mentioned that in addition to implementing the abilities they had produced, the learners gained beneficial obtain to and responses from thriving gurus. “For instance, HCA delivered a situation study of an genuine acquisition they accomplished a handful of a long time ago that they use for training and provided a video clip of schooling material they use on how to create a company situation,” she said.

Amarachi Nwaneri, an MBA scholar who was in the team that presented SmartBank with tips about which of 36 branches to consolidate, mentioned she appreciated being able to meet up with with SmartBank personnel at all concentrations of the organization. The SmartBank associates inspired the group to inquire queries, furnished the learners with teaching for S&P Global—a fiscal sector software for examining financial institutions and other financial providers companies—and gave them access to economic statements that assisted them set their classroom studying into motion.

“The persons we labored with built guaranteed we experienced all the information we essential and were swift to answer concerns and deliver us with useful insights,” Nwaneri said. “Implementing what Professor Woidtke has been teaching in course into practice authorized me to acquire new capabilities and understand a lot more about banking institutions in normal.”

SmartBank president and CEO Billy Carroll, one particular of the company associates who attended the last in-person presentations, was amazed with the excellent of the students’ thoughts and their reliable comprehension of banking.

“The college students actually embraced the jobs, and I could tell they have been engaged throughout the approach,” he reported. “The recommendations given from the teams will give our corporation administration some food stuff for thought as we prepare strategically moving forward.”

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Stacy Estep (865-974-7881,

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