Professor Neil Boyd teaches a class to students on Malesardi Quad

A Successful Launch

August 19, 2019

by Marielle Miller

Neil Boyd, one of nine Freeman College of Management professors involved in the institute, taught Management Consulting to the inaugural students. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

Ben Iwaoka '21, an electrical engineering major from Charlotte, N.C., knew he wanted to explore the managerial side of his field, but he wasn't sure how to approach doing so.

Curiosity led him to Bucknell's Summer Management Institute, a new initiative aimed at teaching the basic principles of management to students who are not management majors. After nine weeks of exploring the nitty-gritty world of consulting and decision-making concepts, Iwaoka has a clearer sense of his career options.

"After meeting with executives and working on our project, I had a better insight into what I could do," Iwaoka says of his institute experience. "It really piqued my interest into the managerial side of my major." After graduation, Iwaoka intends to pursue an MBA and become a project consultant in the engineering field.

Iwaoka was in the institute's inaugural class of eight students, who took management classes, networked and developed an action plan to address a real-world client's real needs as a final project.

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That client was The Champions Community Foundation, a nonprofit serving young adults with disabilities founded by Rick '79 and Nancy Murphy Thompson '79, P'08 and led by Tom Hislop '78, P'20, P'22. Students developed marketing strategies, fundraising advice and a budget plan to finance the technology required to meet the client's goals.

Aside from taking classes led by professors from the Freeman College of Management, students visited businesses and consulting firms and enjoyed a guest lecture series that offered a firsthand look at how business concepts are incorporated into different career paths. Speakers included: CEO Joe Sheetz P'18 of Sheetz convenience stores; Ken Freeman '72, the Bucknell trustee for whom the management college is named; and Ed Wise '81, CEO of Omnicom Health Group. Students also visited the Spark Transformation Center in Philadelphia and Omnicom Health Group in New York City.

Institute participants found the experience helpful in selecting their future courses of study. It also highlighted prospective career paths they might not have considered.

"The management institute helped me discover my academic interests while providing me with insight into career opportunities that can work with my major," says Osama Amin '22, a civil engineering major from Islamabad, Pakistan. "I've learned how to fit these concepts of management into engineering and figure out where a career combining the two can take me."