In our office we have alumni from all over the United States- Oregon State Beavers, Santa Clara Broncos, University of Delaware Blue Hens and right here in our own backyard, two graduates from Washington State University Vancouver- GO COUGS!
Davidson & Associates Team Members Emily Roesch & Samantha Southern are both graduates of WSU Vancouver, spring of 2018. Just like 95% of their fellow classmates, they graduated and shortly after began their careers staying in the Vancouver community. Not only do they have that in common, but they also both participated in a highly praised program called “MAP” or Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program.
The program is comprised of a pro-bono student consultancy and a monthly small business forum. Local businesses from around the Vancouver area apply every year to be chosen to receive the free student-conducted analysis and more than 500 hours of consulting services.
Samantha recalls the program from a student’s point of view “You get paired up with 5-6 other students, all in different majors from yourself so that you have expertise in each area of the business, then you get a business mentor who oversees your project, gives you advice and helps you navigate real world problems, and finally- a local business. You spend the entire semester working with the business owner, employees and their business data, helping provide suggestions on how to improve a process or introduce a new technique- it is so rewarding to present those final recommendations after 16 weeks to the business.” Emily also participated in this program, working with a different group of students and another local business, a printing company. “The MAP program is unlike any class or subject that I’d been previously taught, rather than solving a word problem on a made up business from your text book- you’re looking at a real live business, there is no “right answer”. We’re encouraged to think critically and use data that sometimes isn’t complete or easily laid out in nice neat table. It forces you to problem solve and think on your toes and to make decisions that are in the best interest of your client and their operations.”
Owner of Davidson & Associates, Tony Johnson has participated as a business mentor for the past 4 years with the MAP Program, overseeing multiple student groups and local businesses. “What I appreciate is the mutual benefit for both the student and the community client business. The students get real world business exposure and the clients get some great advice and insights into their business. An added benefit we have gotten from our business is access to great students who are graduating with great skills and looking for a new long term career! Talk about a great bonus in a very challenging labor market!”
If you’re interested in learning more about the program and utilizing it for your small business, as past students, mentors and being a small local business- we highly recommend it! You can learn more about this opportunity for the fall semester (August-December 2020) on their website https://business.vancouver.wsu.edu/bgmap or apply here.
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