TEAM Business benefits community

Thad Ray

TEAM Business is a new NMU organization providing students the opportunity to apply classroom content to Marquette area businesses.

According to the organization’s brochure, TEAM is an acronym for Training, Education, Application and Mastery and the program offers students the chance to assist area businesses in projects. It provides businesses the benefit of a fresh perspective, innovative ideas and expertise in several areas and it provides students with real world work experience.

“Having experience working in a real business is the kind of edge employers look for,” Rich Ross, TEAM Business president and second year Master of Business Administration graduate student, said.

Students worked with two organizations: All Natural Greens and the Jacobetti Complex.

TEAM Business assisted All Natural Greens, a local aquaponic farm, by developing a marketing plan that included a renovation of the company’s website and establishment of a social media presence.

TEAM Business also had the opportunity to help in the re-branding of the Jacobetti Complex, home to NMU’s Center for Innovation and Industrial Technologies. The TEAM surveyed professors and students at the Jacobetti and developed a strategy for both on and off-campus advertising.

These collaborations gave students the opportunity to experience the challenges of the real business environment.

“It’s not like you’re getting a bad grade in a class if you do poorly,” Ross said. “These are real businesses and real money. Students are faced with the same pressure and situations that they’ll be faced with when they graduate and enter the job market.”

Casey Phillips is a second year graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program and a member of TEAM Business.

“One of the most beneficial aspects of the program is the networking opportunities it creates,” Phillips said.

According to Phillips, the program gives students the opportunity to interact with potential employers and fosters important business relationships.

“Building a good resume is very important and TEAM Business offers students a chance to expand their education by working on a professional level with real businesses,” Phillips said.

Team Business began when David Rayome, Ph.D., dean of the NMU College of Business, said he recognized the strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Upper Peninsula and saw the potential for collaboration between the university and local businesses.

“The U.P. is a beautiful place,” Rayome said. “That’s why people come here. Once they realize that they want to stay, they need to find a way to make a living here.”

Rayome said the program gives the university the opportunity to further the relationship with the community.

“The program creates opportunities for employment and economic growth in the U.P.,” Rayome said.

Projects for this year include collaborations with Wealth Strategies Group, an independent financial service, wealth management and consulting firm in Marquette, and Coder Dojo 906, part of a global program to bring coding, software development and technology experiences to youth in the region.

Ross encourages any students who are interested to attend TEAM Business meetings. He said that businesses are also looking for graphic designers, web developers and software developers among other skills.

“It’s not just for business students,” Ross said. “There’s an unlimited potential for growth, and this provides a great opportunity for students as well as area businesses.”

Meetings will be held in the Financial Trading Lab in the University Center Oct. 10 and 24 and Nov. 7 and 21.

For more information, contact Rich Ross at [email protected] or the College of Business at (906) 227-2900.