This week’s Student of the Week is Cody Thomas – a University of Georgia Alum. Cody receives Tez for the second time this year for his outstanding efforts in this week’s conclusion of Dr. Andy Baker’s Market Research class and project presentations. The class presented their final projects on Tuesday to this year’s client: Keith Padgett, the CEO of Pro Kids of San Diego. Cody writes about his experience with his group and how the experience of the Market Research class with benefit the class into the future.
SMBA ‘15 recently wrapped up our semester long Market Research class project. While it was a challenging project, we were able to use all of skills the we have been accumulating from the class in a real life application. On the first day of class in August, Keith Padgett, the CEO of Pro Kids of San Diego, presented to us his request to help him develop a sustainable business plan in which we would figure out ways to improve business at Colina Park Golf Course. Colina Park is a local, par-3 golf course in San Diego where the non-profit organization Pro Kids is headquartered. Once we were given our topic we jumped into groups, took what we learned in market research up to that point, and starts to work.
One of the first things my group did was to visit the golf course to see for ourselves how they operated. We ended up seeing first-hand how much Colina Park Golf Course helped the youth in the local community. Following our experience at the golf course, we started on one of the major parts of the market research project: creating and distributing a survey. This was a difficult task, but the data was vital to our research objectives. Once we gathered enough data, we were able to utilize our business toolkit gained from previous classes, and our once simple data was now turned into regression models, clusters analysis, and SPSS outputs. Many hours later we had a finished project that was ready to present to Keith and the rest of the administrative board at Colina Park Golf Course. On Tuesday, all of the groups presented great material and it appeared that Keith was able to take away many great potential business plans from our suggestions.
Projects like this are great part of the MBA experience because we are not only able to help out a company who are doing great things for the community, but we are also able to see that the material we spent all those many hours of studying throughout the year actually is useful in real world situations. While the Market Research project was challenging, it provided the entire class with practical business world experiences which we can take out into our internships and future careers.