School of Business offers real-world experience

Jacob Harp, Staff Writer

In the Plaster School of Business, instructors hope graduating seniors will be adequately prepared for the job market. Because of that pursuit, every student is required to complete a capstone course: Strategic Management. Traditionally this particular class involves a kind of simulation that exposes students to some of the major strategic decisions that every company faces, but this final course usually takes place in the comfort of a Missouri Southern classroom.  

Not for one class though. Dr. John Groesbeck, Dean of the Plaster School of Business, teaches a small block of Strategic Management that changes the dynamic of the class. Instead of participating in a static simulation, the class is assigned an area company with which to work for the duration of the semester.  

According to Groesbeck, past years have seen the class partner with businesses like Leggett & Platt, H.E. Williams, Wal-Mart, and Con-way Truckload, but this year is a bit more charged.  

Empire District, the regional power company, partners with Groesbeck to manage the projects on which the students in the class work.  

Students like Inesa Stevens, senior human resources management major, are benefiting from the opportunities this class offers.  Stevens initially signed up for the class because it “expands my networking opportunities,” she said, “and at the same time [it] gives a real ‘working experience.’”  

Networking and experience will no doubt help Stevens when she graduates from Missouri Southern in May.  

The school of business offers this “real-world” strategic management class every spring to only a handful of business majors. After meeting certain criteria, students must then apply for admission into this class specifically. While it may be a year away, Brecklyn Brouwer, junior accounting major, said she is likely to apply for this select class next spring.  

“From what I’ve heard, it’s a better way to get class done. It’s just more engaging than a traditional classroom,” said Brouwer.  The benefits extend beyond just the students.  

“It’s important for the business school at a public, regional, comprehensive university to be engaged with its stakeholders,” said Groesbeck.  

The companies partnering with Southern for this class receive the ability to directly influence the education of students, who could become future employees at these companies. 

Collaboration like this allows for the Plaster School of Business to adequately prepare students for the current job market.