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High-school business leaders compete for prizes at MTSU Feb. 6

America’s future business leaders will test their mettle against their peers in a competition at MTSU this week.

Maria Kirstiens of Summertown (Tenn.) High School accepts her prize, a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet, from MTSU professor K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb at the 2013 Future Business Leaders of America Region 4 Conference competition at MTSU. (File photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

The Future Business Leaders of America’s Region 4 Conference is slated for Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Student Union ballroom.

Some 150 youngsters from nine counties will vie all morning long for top prizes in categories such as business ethics, global business, management decision-making, entrepreneurship, marketing, client service, impromptu speaking, job interviews and public speaking.

“This is an opportunity for these students to learn about business in high school, see what business is all about and determine if they’d like to enter the business world,” said Kay Blasingame-Boike, lecturer in the MTSU Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. David Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business, will address the students at 1 p.m. Following Urban’s speech, there will be a drawing for two Samsung tablets and a number of Walmart gift cards for students. All teachers who attend also will receive Walmart gift cards.

For more information, contact Blasingame-Boike at 615-898-5687 or kay.blasingame-boike@mtsu.edu or Dr. Martha Balachandran, professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, at 615-898-2036 or martha.balachandran@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Global Entrepreneurship Week at MTSU: Living the American Dream (VIDEO)

Sparking the ingenuity of budding Midstate entrepreneurs is the goal of the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration at Middle Tennessee State University.

The Nov. 15-22 series of events features a series of guest speakers sharing expertise on topics ranging from how to glean commercial ideas from research to pursuing entrepreneurship following a corporate career.

On Nov. 18, “Living the American Dream” featured Dr. R. Wilburn Clouse, an MTSU visiting professor, founder and president of The Clouse-Elrod Foundation Inc. and professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University, and Arthur R. “Butch” Hutcherson, founder and partner of Sumner Point TN LLC, Sumner 2000 LLC, Arcadia Holdings LLC and Music City USA Inc.

 

On Nov. 22, Elliott Wahle, former president of Babies “R” Us, chairman and CEO of Rykom Enterprises, former chairman and CEO of Rustique Home Furnishings and founder and CEO of Generation Capital Inc., was scheduled to speak on “Entrepreneurship After a Corporate Career.”

Hosted by the Jones College of Business and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, all activities are free and open to the public. The event is being held in conjunction with the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international celebration of innovators and job creators held each November.

To learn more about the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers, visit www.tsbdc.org.

‘Anybody can be an entrepreneur’ during MTSU Global Entrepreneurship Week

Sparking the ingenuity of budding Midstate entrepreneurs is the goal of the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration at Middle Tennessee State University.

The Nov. 15-22 event will feature a series of guest speakers coming to campus to share expertise on topics ranging from how to glean commercial ideas from research to pursuing entrepreneurship following a corporate career.

Hosted by the Jones College of Business and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, all activities are free and open to the public. The event is being held in conjunction with the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international celebration of innovators and job creators held each November.GEW_Logo

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Rachel Wilson

Dr. Rachel Wilson

Patrick Geho, state executive director of MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center, encourages students from across the campus and anyone in the surrounding community interested in starting their own business to attend the week’s events.

“The purpose is to let everybody know that anybody can be an entrepreneur. You’re not born that way. It’s a state of mind and has to be cultivated,” he said. “We’re trying to get these students and others in the community to think entrepreneurial regardless of their discipline.”

While the lineup of expert speakers and panels will mostly take place on campus, the public is also encouraged to attend a kickoff event from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce on Medical Center Parkway, where TSBDC offices are located.

TSBDC logo

Click to learn more.

The TSBDC offers expert counseling, training and database resources and professional referrals to small business owners and prospective owners at offices throughout the state, at no cost to its clients, Geho said.

“The kickoff is designed to highlight the resources available in Middle Tennessee,” said Rachel Wilson, an MTSU professor of entrepreneurship and a panelist for one of the week’s sessions. “I believe that there are students and folks out in the community that have entrepreneurial thoughts and ideas, but they don’t act on them.

“We want to get these concepts on how to be more entrepreneurial out to the average person or average student, who is not a business student or business owner,” Wilson added. “We want to help show them how to transform that idea into an actual enterprise.”

Featured speakers and events for the week include:

• Friday, Nov. 15, deadline for full-time MTSU students to register for the Student Business Idea Competition. Sponsored by the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship, the competition offers $2,500 in cash prizes. Students may register and learn details at www.mtsu.edu/businessidea.

• 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in the Business and Aerospace Building, Room S336: “Commercializing Ideas from Research at the University of Memphis” by Dr. Kevin P. Boggs, assistant vice president of tech transfer, University of Memphis;WordmarkJonesCollege

• 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the College of Education Building, Room 145: “Living the American Dream” by Dr. R. Wilburn Clouse, MTSU visiting professor, founder and president of The Clouse-Elrod Foundation Inc., and professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University; and Arthur R. “Butch” Hutcherson, founder and partner of Sumner Point TN LLC, Sumner 2000 LLC, Arcadia Holdings LLC, and Music City USA Inc.;

• 2 to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18, at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Building, 3050 Medical Center Parkway: Global Entrepreneurship Week kickoff event with informational tables, networking and refreshments.

Includes Q-and-A panel, “Resources for Entrepreneurs in Middle Tennessee,” featuring Dr. Patrick Geho, state executive director, MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center; Dr. Jim Stefansic, Launch TN; Jack Sisk, Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center; and Mary Sedrick, Women’s Business Center at Brightbridge;

• 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the MTSU Student Union, Room 224: “Winemaking and International Entrepreneurship — Study Abroad: Argentina” by Dr. Tony Johnston, MTSU associate professor of food science and agribusiness and an enology consultant; and Dr. Rachel Wilson, MTSU associate professor of entrepreneurship;

• 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22: MTSU Business Idea Competition finalist presentations (open only to finalists). Judging Panel: Dr. Pat Geho, state executive director, MTSU-TSBDC; Dr. John Mullane, professor; and Ralph Williams, instructor, MTSU;

• 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at the Business and Aerospace Building, State Farm Room 102: “Entrepreneurship After a Corporate Career” by Elliott Wahle, former president of Babies “R” Us; chairman and CEO of Rykom Enterprises; former chairman and CEO of Rustique Home Furnishings; and founder and CEO of Generation Capital Inc.

A printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14 and visitor parking passes are available at the Parking Services Building off East Main Street.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Attention MTSU students: Win cash for your great business idea!

Business-minded MTSU students of any discipline looking for start-up cash have until Friday, Nov. 15, to register online for the first Student Business Idea Competition.

The competition offers $2,500 in cash prizes to the winners — $1,200 for first place, $800 for second and $500 for third. Students may register at www.mtsu.edu/businessidea. Students can enter multiple ideas, but all ideas must be submitted online by the Friday deadline.

Click the image to enter.

Click the image to enter.

The Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business and the MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center are sponsoring the competition, which is part of the university’s Global Entrepreneurship Week activities.

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Patrick Geho, state executive director of MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center, said the purpose was to “get the juices flowing” within the entire student body about pursuing entrepreneurship. The plan is to hold the competition each year.

“This is not intended for just the College of Business,” Geho said. “We’re engaging all students. We want to introduce them to the concept of ‘It starts with an idea.’”

Full-time students age 18 and older are asked to develop and submit original ideas for any type of business or social entrepreneurship venture. The only exception is that the ideas can’t be franchises or an existing business.

Students will be asked to state the reason you think you’ve got a great business idea. They will also be asked to propose a name for the business, its location, brief description of the business, who the customers will be and how they will be reached.

“We’re trying to raise student awareness of all the opportunities to take their discipline, once they graduate, and learn how to convert their degree into an entrepreneurial opportunity,” Geho said.

A group of finalists will be picked from the online entries, with those finalists given the chance to make five-minute business pitches to a small panel of judges between 10 and 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22. The top three ideas will be selected.

The top winner may eventually become a client of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which offers expert counseling, training resources and professional referrals to small business owners and prospective owners at offices throughout the state.

Next year, Geho said his office will offer training earlier in the semester for students wishing to enter the competition but are not familiar with giving such business pitches.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Company ‘pays it forward’ with donations to Raiders’ Closet

One of the nation’s most prominent pharmaceutical corporations is making an investment in the future with a donation to MTSU’s Raiders’ Closet.

AstraZeneca contributed professional outfits to the racks of gently used items available at the closet, which is located in Room 130A of the university’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Members of the AstraZeneca Leadership and Selling Team pose with their donations to the MTSU Raiders’ Closet at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Murfreesboro. From left are Joni Moore, Chris Duncan, Shannon Hogan, John O’Neal, Scott Larson, MTSU’s Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, Latarsher White, Melanie Hughes, Jennifer Davis, AstraZeneca Executive Sales Specialist Mecole Vaughn Springer, Gretchen Smith and Tracy Reynolds. (Photo submitted)

Raiders’ Closet houses free suits, ties, dresses, blouses, skirts and accessories suitable for job interviews. Students may keep the items they choose.

The project is the brainchild of Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship. She discovered that many students are misinformed about the type of clothing they need to make a good impression on a prospective employer, while others simply can’t afford appropriate work clothes.

Hemby-Grubb delivered a presentation Sept. 26 about Raiders’ Closet to AstraZeneca’s Leadership and Selling Team at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Murfreesboro.

“These individuals truly care about the mission of Raiders’ Closet and believe in the ‘pay it forward’ concept we use as part of the closet’s philosophy,” said Hemby-Grubb.

The presentation was made possible with the help of Mecole Vaughn Springer, an MTSU alumna and AstraZeneca executive sales specialist.

“AstraZeneca’s Nashville District was compelled to donate to Raiders’ Closet because we understand that a need exists, and Raiders’ Closet is making a direct impact on the future success of young professionals,” Springer said.

Click on the flier above for a printable PDF with more details on donating clothing and funds to Raiders’ Closet.

Springer, a Murfreesboro native, earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1994 and her master’s degree in educational leadership in 1996. She currently is pursuing a certification in health care management at MTSU.

Raiders’ Closet “is an extraordinary example of the opportunities available to students at MTSU,” Springer said.

“It is important for students to be prepared when entering the workforce. Proper professional attire can be just as important as the knowledge you possess when making an impression on a potential employer.”

Others can make donations to Raiders’ Closet each Friday or in the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office in Room 429N of the Business and Aerospace Building between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu, or Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

For a campus map, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

—Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Raiders’ Closet opens to help students dress for job success (VIDEO)

Fall fashions for the business-conscious job interviewer were on display at Raiders’ Closet at the fall 2013 grand opening of Raiders’ Closet, held Sept. 20 in Room S130A of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building. Watch a video of the fall grand opening below.

You can learn more about the Raiders’ Closet project at http://mtsunews.com/raiders-closet-fall13-opening.

Students dress for success at Raiders’ Closet opening (+VIDEO)

Fall fashions for the business-conscious job interviewer were on display at the fall 2013 grand opening of Raiders’ Closet, held Sept. 20 in Room S130A of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Watch a video of the grand opening below.

Raiders’ Closet contains suits, dresses, slacks, blouses, ties, scarves and shoes for students to wear as they search for work.

Click on the flier above for a printable PDF with more details on donating clothing and funds to Raiders’ Closet.

“Predominantly, we’re looking for styles that young people would wear during professional interviews for postgraduate jobs,” said Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship  at MTSU who is an expert on business etiquette and comportment. She came up with the idea for the project.

Not only are donations of dry-cleaned men’s and women’s clothing welcome, but Raiders’ Closet also has a new MTSU Foundation account to accept monetary contributions.

Raiders’ Closet is open from 2 to 4 each Friday in Room S130A of the Business and Aerospace Building. Students may keep the clothing they intend to wear to job interviews — and their new jobs.

Donations of clothing and funds donations may be made to Jaye Kiblinger in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office, Room N429, anytime Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Donors can arrange to drop off new or like-new, thoroughly cleaned, professional clothing and accessories in the semicircle at the north side of the Business and Aerospace Building by calling Kiblinger in advance at 615-898-2902.

“We’re not accepting things you would take to Goodwill just to clean out your closet,” Hembry-Grubb said when Raiders’ Closet launched in January. “We want our MTSU graduates to come out of here looking professional.”

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-1369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship at MTSU, sorts clothes Sept. 20 during the Raiders’ Closet fall grand opening in Room 130A of the Business and Aerospace Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Jaye Kiblinger, left, executive aide in MTSU’s Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, and Carlos Coronel, director of the computer lab in the Jones College of Business, sort clothes Sept. 20 during the fall grand opening of the Raiders’ Closet.

Models make it professional at Raiders’ Closet fashion show

Raiders’ Closet at MTSU is opening its doors and putting job interview fashions on the runway tonight.

Dr. K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb of MTSU’s Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship displays some of the professional garb available for students in Raiders’ Closet. (MTSU file photo)

Models will showcase professional wear and business-savvy confidence during a fashion show from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Raiders’ Closet is the brainchild of Dr. K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship in MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

Hemby-Grubb discovered that many students are ignorant of the type of clothing they need to make a good impression on a prospective employer. Others simply can’t afford clothing suitable for the workplace.

The gently used items donated to Raiders’ Closet, which is housed in Room 130A of the Business and Aerospace Building, include suits, ties, dresses, blouses, skirts and accessories in a variety of sizes for both male and female students.

Supporters of the Raiders’ Closet fashion show include Belk, Jos. A. Bank and the Men’s Wearhouse.

Donations may be made at Raiders’ Closet each Friday or in the BCE departmental office, located in Room 429N of the Business and Aerospace Building, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu or Jaye Kiblinger, executive aide for the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

For parking information for tonight’s fashion show, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTParkingMap12-13.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Raiders’ Closet needs spring donations for student job hunters

In spring, a young college student’s fancy turns to the kind of clothes that can impress employers in job interviews.

Raiders Closet flier graphic

Click on the flier above for a printable version.

That’s why MTSU is urging you to clean out your closets and donate your gently used professional clothing to Raiders’ Closet, the nonprofit service that provides students with professional attire.

The closet needs such items as suits, jackets, slacks, shirts, ties, skirts and scarves. Men’s dress shirts should be dry-cleaned and folded for storage on shelves. All other clothing items must be dry-cleaned and placed on hangers.

Donations are welcome anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office. It’s located in Room N429 of the MTSU Business and Aerospace Building.

To make a clothing donation, contact Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369.

Monetary contributions to the Raiders’ Closet Foundation Fund also are welcome to help purchase needed items.

For more information, call Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or visit the MTSU Development and Foundation office website at www.mtsu.edu/development.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Future business leaders reach for success at MTSU conference

Maria Kirstiens, a freshman at Summertown  (Tenn.) High School, accepts her prize, a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet, from MTSU professor K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb at the Future Business Leaders of America Region 4 Conference competition hosted Feb. 13 by MTSU. (photos submitted)

Maria Kirstiens, a freshman at Summertown (Tenn.) High School, accepts her prize, a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet, from MTSU professor K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb at the Future Business Leaders of America Region 4 Conference competition hosted Feb. 13 by MTSU. (photos submitted)

Tomorrow’s business leaders tested their savvy at MTSU and walked away with memories they’ll treasure forever.

Tennessee high-school students competed in exercises designed to help them hone their business skills at the Future Business Leaders of America Region 4 Conference on Feb. 13.

The contestants, representing 31 high schools and home-schooling associations, vied for top prizes in categories such as business ethics, global business, management decision-making, entrepreneurship, marketing, client service, impromptu speaking, job interviews and public speaking.

In the contests, teams of two or three students received case summaries and had about 20 minutes to come up with solutions to the issues at stake.

“Not only are the students given an opportunity to demonstrate and improve their skills, but professors can avail themselves of the opportunity to target outstanding students to recruit for future admissions,” said Dr. Martha Balachandran, a professor in the MTSU Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship.

The Tennessee Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education Division sponsored the event with organizing support from Balachandran, BCE instructor Kay Blasingame-Boike and BCE professor Dr. Wayne Rollins. Doug Tatum, holder of the Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, secured funding for prizes.

For more information, contact Balachandran at 615-898-2036 or Blasingame-Boike at 615-898-5687.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)