Business Case Study Course Culminates with Competition

A business case study course offered for the first time to 17 St. Lawrence University juniors and seniors will culminate Monday in a competition judged by successful alumni and business leaders.

Through a collaborative effort between St. Lawrence Career Services and Career Connections, the half-credit Business Case Study course provided students with necessary tools to analyze and interpret real-world business problems and to develop thoughtful and intelligent solutions to these challenges, said Geoffrey Falen, director of Career Connections.

“This was a very diverse group of presenters who gave students liberal arts approaches to real world problems,” Falen said. “Most of the speakers have an affinity with St. Lawrence and were able to lend their perspectives and expertise as an experiential component to presenting in the course.”

The course included lectures from alumni and industry leaders as well as University professors and administrators, which were then followed by group discussions and weekly reflection papers.

The Business Case Study Competition will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 7 in the Hannon Room of the Sullivan Student Center. The campus community is invited to attend the capstone project for the course, where student teams will be making formal presentation to a panel of judges.

The judges will include Deena Giltz McCullough ’84, president of Northern Insuring Agency, Inc; 
Tom DeRosa, surgical supply chain manager for Canton-Potsdam Hospital and CEO of Personé Staffing; Steve Kuno ’83, co-owner and CEO of Kunoco Oil Company, Inc; and 
Carol Shaw Maxwell ’79, marketing consultant for Otis Maxwell Advertising and innovation and entrepreneurship mentor for Eastern New York Angels.

“We wanted students to be exposed to these business leaders and also to begin building networks with alumni that will benefit them as they begin their careers,” said Beth Larrabee, assistant director of Career Services.

Course presenters during the semester have included David Cruikshank ’86, vice president for BNY Mellon; David Bender, COO for Canton-Potsdam Hospital; Tom Coakley, former St. Lawrence vice president for operations; Ed Harcourt, associate professor of mathematics; Jennifer Hansen, professor of philosophy; Liz Regosin, professor of history; Mark Raymond, head football coach; Robin Lock, professor of mathematics; Jeff Maynes, visiting assistant professor of philosophy; and Randy Hill, associate professor of communication and performance art.

Cruikshank, who led the first class, said he found it a rewarding experience. 

“I am happy to have been part of this business-based course, and would gladly participate again,” he said. “Kudos to St. Lawrence for putting together such a program that brings business experience together with structured academic learning. It’s a great combination.”

Students commented that the course demonstrated how to apply their St. Lawrence education to real world situations.

“The most attractive element of this class was that it showed us how to apply our liberal arts perspective on real life business situations,” said Vasileios Prassas ’14 of Chalkidki, Greece. “Thus, it is certainly a great bridge to our professional careers.”

Other students found value in hearing directly from industry leaders.

“For anyone looking to pursue any profession in the business or finance world, I highly recommend taking this course,” said Emily von Loesecke ’14 of Hingham, Mass. “(Cruikshank) gave us an interesting perspective on his approach to strategizing the implementation of a mission and a vision in a company. Through his presentation and our following class discussion, I was able to see my college pursuits come alive.”

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