Real-World Experience Educates Business Students

by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

Cedarville, Ohio—Not many college students can say that they started, operated and closed a profitable company during their college career. However, that is exactly what members of Cedarville University’s Integrated Business Core (IBC) accomplished this previous fall.

    The department of business administration designed IBC at Cedarville in 2002 to provide an authentic business experience to students. The goal of the program is for junior business majors to form their own company, create a business plan, obtain a loan, implement their plan, make a profit and close down operations, all in one semester. This year, students formed two companies. Continuum sold calendars emphasizing the school’s history, and Net Results marketed miniature basketball hoops and school decals.

    As one would expect, real-world experience requires real money. “Part of why the IBC is such a big deal is that we were dealing with real money that we borrowed a bank, it wasn't fake money or anything like that,” says Brett Bigler, president of Net Results. “Our company had to prepare a presentation to convince a loan committee why they should lend us $5,000. It was a nerve wracking time as we scrambled to make a presentation that was good enough for them, but we did, and it worked out fine.”

    Students not only learned how to make money, but how to give it away. As a part of the program, each student was required to volunteer at least 10 hours and donate all profits to a local nonprofit organization. This year, both companies teamed up to donate a total of 392 hours and $3,700 to the Dayton Gospel Mission.

    “For me, the best part of the IBC experience was the way that it developed my leadership skills,” says Angie Rill, president of Continuum. “It is a unique program where you have the chance to develop yourself as a leader while also applying what you're learning in the classroom.”