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Interdisciplinary Health Programs
A thesis in an examination of experiential collegiate learning, specifically that are found within the vocational field of entrepreneurship and business management. This student-driven project’s objective primarily is to recruit a dedicated team of diverse students from Western Michigan University (WMU) to engage in a systematic, site-based experiential learning in one of the world’s biggest tech-metropolitans, San Francisco, California. The mission is to stimulate an experience-based approach to studying a business centered curriculum through field research with some of the country’s most successful companies. Participants evaluated company culture in diverse business settings to comprehend professional prospects and project management best practices. Western Michigan alumni executives were contacted to inquire about the organization’s interest in participation of hosting a group of WMU business students for a tour of the business, following a professional mentoring session as well as an alumni-student networking event. By doing so, students are given real-life insight on what hard and soft skills companies in the technology-business industry are seeking in a prospective employee, such as technical skills, behavior, communication, responsibility, social skills, professionalism, teamwork, and work ethic. Students will evaluate company culture in diverse business settings to recognize professional prospects and demonstrate learned qualities assuredly. Participants will be academically delving into the career pathways of Western Michigan alumni in technology and entrepreneurship, then assessed using a Likert scale to measure a pre-, and post-self-assessment on personal career readiness and overall project evaluation. The hypothesis was that if students are taught a curriculum centered around experiential learning in an active company setting, then they will be able to demonstrate learned qualities more assuredly than they would before the experience. Furthermore, students were able to apply to learn through reflection on doing for personal application and have a more comprehensive understanding of vital business lessons.
The students are recruited by word of mouth amongst peers, via student presentations during class lectures at WMU, and through electronic and hard copy marketing, such as posters around campus. After expressing interest in participation, each student was interviewed to discover they’re in-depth academic, career, and personal goals and merits, as well as to determine their fit and viability as participants in this study. My honors thesis chair professor in the Haworth College of Business at WMU, Barcley Johnson, acted as a project mentor, guide, and chaperone. The participants were assessed on multiple fronts: career readiness, project satisfaction, project educational applicability, and program outcomes after the completion of travel.
Settle, Kirsten, "Experiential Learning in Collegiate Academia: The Silicon Valley Immersion" (2018). Honors Theses. 3070.
Honors Thesis-Open Access