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MBA students hone skills in Alexandria, VA

Monday, August 16, 2010 / Bookmark & Share

MBA students hone skills while helping Alexandria business owners improve management operations, customer service. For more than 10 years, students in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business MBA program in the National Capital Region have spent a semester working with businesses in the City of Alexandria.

The partnership was initiated by Barbara Hoopes, associate professor, Business Information Technology, Virginia Tech National Capital Region; and Bill Reagan, executive director, Alexandria Small Business Development Center (SBDC), both to help the students hone their skills through real life experience and to provide business owners with an opportunity to improve management operations and customer service.

“This partnership is practical and a winner for everyone involved — individual businesses, our MBA students, and the university. It is a great way for Virginia Tech to reach out to the community and put its motto, [Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)] into action,” says Hoopes.

“The graduate students function as consultants,” explained Reagan. “And Alexandria business owners really like the idea of having them on board to offer a new, fresh perspective to their business operations.”

At each participating business, a team of two to four National Capital Region students tackle business issues that may include general operations strategy and competitiveness, quality concepts, product and service design, process planning and technology, facility location and layout, forecasting, capacity planning, inventory management, or project management.

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