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Entrepreneurship, EveningMBA, Newsroom

Student Profile: Emily Pearl

Emily Pearl grew up in Vadnais Heights, Minn., the youngest of four children. She remembers a particular childhood game she and her siblings would play which was called “Bigger or Better.” This game consisted of finding a starting object, usually a rock. With the rock in tow, they would knock on the neighbors’ doors and seek to upgrade their object to something bigger or better. After numerous trades, the game generally ended with the ultimate prize, a can of soda. Soda was a treat not allowed in Emily’s home. It is possible this early childhood development in sales and negotiation led to what has been an exciting career for Emily so far. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom, UST MBC

Small Is Beautiful

Chris Cook '09 M.B.A. embraces the benefits of working for a small business.

Chris Cook '09 M.B.A. embraces the benefits of working for a small business.

This post is from the Fall 2011 edition of B. Magazine, by Kate Norlander ’07 M.B.C.

When Chris Cook joined FRWD as a senior analyst in August 2009, it was a new company, and he was its fifth employee. The company, which assists clients such as St. Jude Medical and 3M with digital media strategy and execution, now has 30 employees. In a company that small, “each role is bigger than it appears on paper,” Cook said. His own role is to work as a client point-of-contact, requiring him to understand his client’s business, goals and challenges and to translate this to the media team within FRWD. As a liaison with the client, he serves in a consultative role, helping shape the client’s marketing strategy.

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Centers, Entrepreneurship, FTMBA, Local business, Media, Newsroom

Twin Cities Small Business Development Center offers free guidance

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The SBDC is located in Terrence Murphy Hall at 10th Street and LaSalle Ave in downtown Minneapolis

Finance and Commerce recently profiled the Twin Cities Small Business Development Center.

Housed at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities SBDC has been helping businesses for 30 years, providing free guidance in planning and marketing as well as help in securing financing. The centers are partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

One of nine SBDCs in the state, the Twin Cities office caters to established businesses because of the plethora of local organizations that help startups, Ryan said. The center subcontracts with the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and with satellite centers at Anoka Technical College and Dakota County Technical College.

“Our goal — and the way we’re measured by the SBA — is economic impact,” Ryan said. That includes third-party surveys of each client to determine economic growth, employment and taxes paid.

“The place where we can make the best hit, the best return for our hours, is with businesses that are already established,” Ryan said. “They’ve demonstrated that there is a business model there. They have revenue.”

About two-thirds of clients want help with marketing, and the rest need financial analysis and cash infusions. The local credit market can be tough, according to Ryan, but the center is helping clients negotiate for $2 million to $3 million in loans at any given time.

This fall, clients will be able to benefit from a new service. Second-year Master of Business Administration students from St. Thomas will be available to help, according to Chris Puto, dean of the Opus College of Business.

“They provide an extraordinarily neat opportunity for the clients of the SBDC to provide a perspective that they otherwise couldn’t get and certainly could afford,” Puto said.

St. Thomas also doesn’t require its SBDC to raise funds to stay in business, unlike other SBDCs. For Puto, housing the SBDC is worth it.

“There are costs involved, but we think that the benefit in terms of connecting the college with the business practitioner community is huge,” he said. “This is part of our mission.”

Read the whole article at Finance and Commerce.

Career Services, Entrepreneurship, Local business, Media, Newsroom

Q&A on Managing a Partner in Business and in Life

Teresa J. Rothausen-Vange, Ph.D., professor of management at the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, with primary responsibility as Leader Development Professor in the full-time UST MBA program recently took to the the Star Tribune’s Business Q&A Column to answer the question:

I am in a small Web design and development company, and my business partner is also my partner in life. What advice would you have to keep our business and personal life strong?

Read her answer »