We know time in the classroom for students is important. But how can we ensure what they are learning will translate to a corporate environment?
Missouri State University’s College of Business (COB) strives to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world. Students can facilitate local business improvement projects through a partnership with the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Missouri State’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program recently became involved with the Missouri SBDC. Students in the program assist local businesses with financial and accounting solutions. In return, students gain professional experience.
“Financial data of real companies is rarely clean and straightforward like textbook example data,” said Lance Coffman, regional small business consultant with the Missouri SBDC.
“The MAcc joined the project assistance program to allow students to go beyond case studies or fictional projects and gain real-world experience.”
Students put their leadership skills to the test
Experts guide students working on the project assistance program and work closely with small business clients throughout a semester.
MAcc student Sydney Hill appreciates the exposure the program has afforded her.
“I have learned how to work with real-life information for our client and take on a topic that is completely new to me,” Hill said. “I feel this project has shown me how to handle my interactions with a client.”
“I’m thankful to be getting this professional development experience while I’m still in graduate school.”
About the project assistance program
Small businesses often join this program to gain insights they may not have the resources to find on their own.
“This program allows businesses to complete projects that were tabled due to time or budget constraints,” Coffman said. “Information generated by students may allow them to pursue desired changes or expansion to their business.”
Small Business Development Centers partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local universities to provide business consulting services at no charge to clients and low-cost training to local entrepreneurs.
The Missouri SBDC partners with Missouri State to help entrepreneurs start, run and grow their business.
All one-on-one counseling and data collected through the project assistance program is confidential.