Archive for category Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

The pros of operating businesses in college towns

This article was originally posted April 4, 2012 by the Huntsman School Blog.

Eric Zenger owns nine Great Harvest Bread franchises in Utah and Idaho. I had the opportunity to sit down with Eric, his wife, his former business partner James Clawson (who owns Logan’s Great Harvest), and half a dozen students before his presentation at the Lectures in Entrepreneurship series.

Eric Zenger

Eric Zenger

It was a more intimate setting than a lecture hall. We got to ask them the questions we wanted and interact with them. We actually had a conversation, which is more than I get from most lectures.

During the course of our conversation, something interesting came up.

Most college students I talk to about their jobs or looking for jobs feel Logan, and other college town, are saturated with other kids looking for jobs, which makes it harder to get a job. And once you have one, you better make sure you keep it, because there are five more starving college kids who would take your place in a heartbeat.

I haven’t ever talked to an employer to see what they think about it, but the subject came up.

Eric and James both said they love opening and operating businesses in college towns because anyone who is going to school full-time and is looking for a job is driven and hard-working.

They both said they know some students are just looking jobs to get them through school, and that’s fine. They come to work, do their work, do it well, and leave. Someday, they’ll graduate and move on to better things.

But they can also tell when there are employees who come to work and really love their work; they’ve been thinking about it even after they’ve clocked out. Those are the employees that make a difference. They’re invested in the business, even though it’s just a job. Those are the ones they hate to see go.

And those are the ones who will go on to make a difference in whatever business they work for, or likely start, and run.

It was just interesting hearing how much they love running businesses in college towns.

It makes you think about what kind employee you are.

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The pros, cons and reality of phone interviews

This article was originally posted March 26, 2012 by the Huntsman School Blog.

I really love Logan, but there are not a lot of entry-level jobs in my field here.

Now that I’m done with school, I am applying for some jobs in Ogden and Salt Lake, but most of the jobs I apply for are so far away, I have to do initial interviews over the phone.

I have never had music for callers to listen to instead of the standard ringing. Whenever I get an incoming call from someone whose number I don’t recognize, I just answer with a normal “hello.”

I recently read an article in the Salt Lake Tribune by Anita Bruzzese who talked to Paul Bailo, the founder and CEO of Phone Interview Pro. He confirmed some of the things I am doing are right on track, and had a lot of great advice for when you are going to have a job interview over the phone.

The reality of looking for a job in this ever-shrinking world is phone interviews are becoming more commonplace.

I feel like I cannot be as personable over the phone and I can’t read the interviewer’s non-verbal cues, but I can have their website up on my laptop and have a list of things I want to make sure I talk about ready to go, which are some reasons I prefer to have phone interviews.

Besides, that way I can pace if I start to get nervous.

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Race Aims to Open Doors to Master’s Program that Finds Jobs for Every Graduate

This article was originally posted March 2012 by The Huntsman Post.

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

Students stuff marshmallows in their partners' mouths to win points for their team during The Amazing Race.

Students stuff marshmallows in their partners’ mouths to win points for their team during The Amazing Race.

Utah State University students raced all over campus recently, competing for prizes such as two vouchers for free airplane tickets, in an event which was aimed at informing students about a Huntsman master’s program, which places 100 percent of its graduates.

On Feb. 16, more than 75 students participated in the event, modeled after the television show, “The Amazing Race.” The race was put on by the Master of Science in Human Resources program and The Agency, a student-run marketing firm at the Huntsman School. Students traveled from station to station answering questions about the MSHR program and competing in physical contests.

Students hold a balloon between them as they make their way up the stairs up Old Main Hill as part of The Amazing Race.

Students hold a balloon between them as they make their way up the stairs up Old Main Hill as part of The Amazing Race.

Lisa Leishman, the MSHR program administrator, said she hoped the event would get the word out that during the two-year program students would be offered the opportunity to complete an international internship. She also wanted people to know that the MSHR program helps every student who graduates find a job.

“The program places 100 percent of our students in professional positions upon graduation,” Lisa said.

Brad Singer, a junior in The Agency, is the account manager who worked with the MSHR program. He said The Agency advertised the race all over campus and online, specifically targeting other majors, such as psychology and sociology. As good as the participation was, the best part was when Julie Pond, a staff assistant for the MSHR program, and Lisa talked to the students about the program while the judges were compiling the data, he said.

Students compete in a three-legged event during The Amazing Race. Photos by Paul Lewis Siddoway

Students compete in a three-legged event during The Amazing Race. Photos by Paul Lewis Siddoway

“The event was fun and the students were able to enjoy themselves,” Brad said. “But I think after they were sitting down and actually listening to Lisa speaking about the MSHR program was the best part of the event. That was the whole point.”

Lisa and Brad said the race might become an annual event, with more participants and more stations around campus each year. Lisa said she felt like the event was a success.

“We were extremely pleased with the number of students who participated in The Amazing Race and the energy they brought to the event,” Lisa said. “They went away with a better understanding of the incredible MSHR program we have here.”

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Don’t let thank you notes go extinct

This article was originally posted Feb. 27, 2012 by the Huntsman School Blog.

Last week, my aunt had a “quick question” for me. If this were one of my siblings, the conversation would have been over in 30 seconds. Actually, it never would have taken place, because we would have done it via text.

However, my aunt knows I am looking for a big-boy job and she took this opportunity to give me advice. For half an hour.

I am not complaining. I am really grateful for her help. Most of it was stuff I had heard before and am trying to implement.

There was one thing which I thought was outdated, but which I decided to look into.

Maybe it is just my generation, but except for wedding presents, I do not know anyone who sends out thank you cards. Hardly anyone uses standard mail anymore. Everything is done electronically.

However, I found an article which said sending a paper thank you note through the mail after an interview may be the factor that sets you apart from the rest and lands you a job.

The article was mostly about following up after an interview, but they took a significant chunk talking about thank you notes. And not only sending them to the person who interviewed you, but also to anyone in the company who helped you find out about the job and get the interview.

Thank them for their time and effort, re-emphasize your interest in the position and how you can help fill their needs, and maybe ask a follow-up question (especially if you send a written note) to encourage a continuing conversation.

However, whether you follow-up the interview with a thank you note, email, telephone call, or in person, I would encourage you to not follow my aunt’s example and keep it concise.

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Police Shootout Brings Sudden Pressure on Huntsman Graduate

This article was originally posted February 2012 by The Huntsman Post.

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

On Jan. 4, 2012, after six Ogden City police officers were shot, Chris Dallin faced a sudden challenge unlike any he had ever encountered before.

Chris Dallin speaks at a press conference. Photo Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

Chris Dallin speaks at a press conference. Photo Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

Chris, the director of public and government relations of Intermountain Healthcare’s northern region, graduated from Utah State in ‘97 with a degree in human resource management. He said there are lessons and principles he continues to apply that he learned during his years at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Around 8 p.m. on Jan. 4, six officers from a Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and Ogden Police Department were shot while serving warrants. The shooting left one officer dead and put the other five, who are now recovering, in the hospital.

When the police officers were taken to McKay-Dee Hospital, Chris said the police department’s spokesperson told reporters if they wanted updates on the condition of the officers, they would need to contact the hospital. He said he faced a barrage of questions from reporters from major national media outlets such as Time MagazineThe Today Show, and the New York Times. Despite the fact that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not allow him to reveal that type of information without patient permission, Chris said he “was constantly receiving requests for updates on the health of the officers” from reporters.

While he had dealt with some tough issues before, he said this was the first time he experienced the type of sudden pressure that came with being in the middle of a major news event. Despite the intensity of the calls, he said he knew he could not release the information, because he had decided years earlier how to act ethically in difficult situations.

He said the way he thinks through these situations always comes back to lessons he learned in the classroom of Caryn Beck-Dudley, who taught law and ethics classes at the Huntsman School and was the dean. He said not one fiscal quarter of the year goes by in which he does not think about, and use, what she taught.

Chris said it is important to recognize the individuals who have helped create your life’s blueprint.

“It is important to understand the parts that make you a person,” Chris said. “USU opened up a lot of opportunities to me.”

Reed Durtschi was another professor who Chris said continues to influence his business decisions. As a member of the senior management team for McKay-Dee Hospital, Chris said he can still hear Durtschi’s voice in his mind.

“Any time the management team talks about consumer price indexes or is considering any financial decision, I remember everything Reed Durtschi taught me, all summed up into ‘Guns and Butter,’ his phrase describing the basket of goods your company is trying to market,” Chris said.

Two other professors Chris cited as helping him become who he is today are Melissa and David Baucus, who, he said, taught him everything from essential vocabulary to critical thinking skills and analytical rigor. He said he is grateful for the things they taught him whenever he interacts with officials from Hill Air Force Base, the Utah State Legislature, and county council members from Davis, Weber, Box Elder, or Cache counties.

“I have always been taught that you can only think as deeply as your vocabulary will allow,” Chris said.

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Huntsman AIS Chapter Named Best in World

This was originally released to the press Feb. 2, 2012. It was also posted January 2012 by The Huntsman Post.

USU Student Club Recognized as Best by Global Organization
Information Systems Club Recognized

A new student club at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University has been recognized by a global organization as its Best New Student Chapter in 2011.

In the fall of 2010, students at Utah State University founded a student chapter of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), a global professional organization for research, teaching, practice and study of information systems.

Kathy Chudoba, an associate professor in the management information systems department, accepted the award for the best new chapter on behalf of the USU AIS chapter at the International Conference on Information Systems held in Shanghai, China, in December 2011.

Clayton Fielding is a senior in the MIS department and the USU AIS president. He said the chapter submitted a report in the spring of 2011 of its activities for its first academic year, detailing the results of its plans to help students gain knowledge, get connected and get employed. Among other events, the USU AIS chapter has a special Partners In Business session with speakers brought in to talk to MIS students, Fielding said.  That was one reason the chapter was selected for the award.

Tmitri Owens, program director for the global AIS organization, said nine other new student chapters competed with the USU chapter, and the groups were judged on their performance in the areas of fundraising, membership, communication and careers in information systems.

The organization is for all USU undergraduate or graduate students interested in technology, Fielding said. The USU chapter has MIS students, as well as computer science and computer engineering majors. Fielding said their vision is to know about the next best technology and be a resource for students who are trying to stay up-to-date with the newest tools. The chapter meets every Thursday throughout the semester, and chapter membership is $10 each academic year.

He said the chapter has also branched out to other student organizations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management and the Huntsman School’s Business Council.

The Huntsman School of Business emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurial thinking, and Fielding said that many of the club’s activities, such as teaching students how to build their own business websites, have been centered on encouraging entrepreneurs.

Aside from assisting USU students, Fielding said his group is also helping the Brigham Young University chapter plan the global 2012 Leadership Conference and Student Competition, which will be held April 26-28 in Provo. Those interested in the conference may visit www.ais2012.com for more details.

Those interested in the USU chapter may visit its website at www.huntsman.usu.edu/ais for more information.

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Go big or stay home

This article was originally posted Jan. 24, 2012 by the Huntsman School Blog.

I recently finished my undergraduate studies and am on the hunt for what my boss calls “a big boy job.”

I found a blog from a year and a half ago that gives some good job seeking advice. One thing that threw me off was the advice to be professional and classy.

Not that it was unexpected, but I was especially struck by how specific and all-encompassing their advice was. They said to “carry yourself with a sense of class and professionalism all the time, not just in an interview.” You never know who you are going to meet waiting in line or at your favorite local café.

And I know people who have gotten jobs from conversations they started on airplanes or waiting in line at the movies. That is bold networking.

Another tip this same blog had was physically visiting the office of a company at which you have applied. You are following up, which is good. You are showing that you are proactive, which is good. And you are initiating a conversation and putting a face (and a personality) to a name, which is good.

Nobody is going to hand you a job on a silver platter, and just looking on job boards probably is not going to cut it in today’s business world. You really have to leave your couch and dare mighty things.

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