Syracuse University

Syracuse_University_Consurtio

The challenge: Negative financial position

The result: Proposed solutions recommended to the Chancellor project an $80,000 profit
Generation

Miscellaneous Minnowbrook Conference Center Exterior .

WHITMAN STUDENT TEAM IMPRESSES SU CHANCELLOR WITH STRATEGIES TO BRING MINNOWBROOK BACK IN THE BLACK

Whitman faculty and staff brought together four high-achieving students—Brian Becker, a second-year J.D./MBA, Sandra Carruitero ’16, Kelley Long ’15 and Isaac Signorelli ’15—for a Consurtio pilot project. The challenge would be to make strategic operational recommendations to improve the struggling University owned Minnowbrook Conference Center and their presentation would be made to SU Chancellor Kent Syverud. Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs Amanda Nicholson and Consurtio CEO Terry Brown mentored the students through the project. In line with the Consurtio MBA-management model, Becker was asked to serve as the team’s CEO. Kevin Callahan, Minnowbrook on-site manager, and Jamie Cyr, director of SU Auxiliary Services, made themselves readily accessible to the students. “With the help of Mr. Callahan and Mr. Cyr, we were able to access a wide range of information relating to the management and operation of Minnowbrook,” said Becker. “We toured the facility, conducted comprehensive research and spent hundreds of hours in team discussions.” The students would review their findings weekly with Nicholson and Brown, who provided consistent guidance as the students worked to formulate their recommendations.

After roughly six months, the team made its presentation to Chancellor Syverud and addressed his questions. The Chancellor was exceedingly impressed by the poise of the students and the quality of their proposal. “The team was extremely professional and offered recommendations and suggested action items that will be very valuable as we develop a future strategy for this Syracuse University treasure,” said Syverud. Pleasing the Chancellor of their University was reason enough for the students to celebrate, but Becker said they gained so much more than just his praise. “The aspect I enjoyed most was the continual sense of having a positive, real-world impact helping our client achieve its strategic objectives. This was a great opportunity to collaborate with talented faculty members and students while applying the management skills and course material learned inside the classroom.”

Testimonials

The Whitman students truly blew us away with their professionalism, attention to detail, responsiveness, critical thinking and creativity. I know how long it would have taken to engage an outside consulting firm and to get the consultants up and running. The speed with which the students acclimated, absorbed information and began adding value was astonishing. They uncovered gaps we had not considered and brought original, relevant ideas to the table. The team delivered a work product that was of real substance and value to our firm and our clients.
Goldman Sachs and Madison Square Garden are Goliaths in their industries. The opportunity for our students to work on a real business scenario being faced by Madison Square Garden and to formulate suggestions for Goldman Sachs in its efforts to provide counsel was immeasurably valuable. The students conducted thorough and relevant research, developed strategically sound recommendations and presented ideas with poise and professionalism. They learned industry-specific lessons, honed translatable skills and contributed viable suggestions well received by the client.
This was a great opportunity to collaborate with talented faculty members and students while applying the management skills and course material learned inside the classroom. The aspect I enjoyed most was the continual sense of having a positive, real-world impact helping our client achieve its strategic objectives. We were exposed to complex operational and management issues and had extensive conversations with key decision makers who asked challenging and thought provoking questions. It required that we think on our feet and thoroughly prepare for each client interaction.
I have found the Syracuse students incredibly sharp. Their questions are precise and to the point. Their level of professionalism is unmatched for young people their age. The work they’ve done to help us move our research project forward has been invaluable and has far exceeded my expectations. We are honored and delighted to be working with the Whitman students.
Patricia MejiaSiteWorx
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