Students impress in start-up capital

February 15 / 152

Students on placements in San Francisco take a break. Image courtsey Brent Coker
Students on placements in San Francisco take a break. Image courtsey Brent Coker

Four teams of undergraduate students have impressed senior executives at some of San Francisco’s leading companies.

Dr Brent Coker, who teaches internet marketing and social media for the Faculty of Business and Economics and was awarded the 2012 the Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year award (Australian Business and Higher Education Round Table), took four teams of undergraduate students to San Francisco for a potentially life changing experience.

Assigned projects from a range of leading innovation-focused companies, the teams got to work applying their ingenuity, skills and dedication to teamwork.

“They impressed!” said Dr Coker. “Our students demonstrated their ability to compete in an extremely competitive international job market. More than one of the companies is now interested in hiring some of them.”

At Hewlett-Packard, the iconic computer company, students were asked to work on a project to attract millennial employees, incredibly important in a city like San Francisco where there is tremendous competition to attract the best.

“[Hewlett Packard] took it very seriously,” said Dr Coker. “They flew in executive level managers, the international acquisitions manager was present…and they were impressed…our students did us proud!

Students were exposed to working in one of the most vibrant international cities.

“San Francisco is unique in the sense that it gives you a glimpse into the energetic and exciting world of start-ups,” said student Jenny Jacob, “[and the]
business culture in San Francisco alone was unlike anything I had ever come across.

“If there is one word I could use … it would be inspirational. I was able to network and consult with highly successful industry professionals from the best universities in the world who had foregone the traditional 9-5 jobs at prestigious companies to turn an idea they're passionate about into a living,” Ms Jacob said.

The feedback from companies was expansive and worth republishing here:

"We had a great experience with the students and they exceeded our expectations with their diligence and quality of insights in their final presentation … very professional and a pleasure to work with."
--Hewlett Packard Palo Alto (Silicon Valley)

The students showed great initiative and asked great questions and presented their ideas and questions in a professional and creative manner. Very pleasant and professional. 
--Fairmont Hotels
Hardworking and fun to have around, they quickly became part of our team. Fearless and ready to roll up their sleeves and get the job done!
--Small World Social
An excellent group of students/consultants … mature, thoughtful, and well organized.  They seemed to catch onto some complex business concepts very quickly, and then move onto the consulting assignment effectively.
--Zoom Systems

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