SUMMARY: Since its inception, the Rainey-Shepard Enterprise Plan Competitors has afforded almost 600 college students within the Faculty of Enterprise the possibility to win scholarships. Former contestant Brett Danielson (’18) attests to the impression the competitors had on his profession as an entrepreneur.
The beating coronary heart of JMU’s Faculty of Enterprise curriculum is a 12-credit-hour course that integrates finance, administration, advertising and operations generally known as COB 300, which college students take instantly following formal acceptance into the faculty their junior yr. The course locations college students in cross-disciplinary groups and duties them with integrating materials from the 4 lessons and growing a viable marketing strategy.
The course looms giant. Almost with out exception, college students worry the trials of COB 300. Additionally almost with out exception, the faculty’s alumni reward what they realized within the course.
Twenty years in the past, profitable enterprise capitalist Don Rainey (’82) proposed a proper marketing strategy competitors, which might invite college students with the perfect enterprise plans created in COB 300 to compete for scholarships. Since its inception, almost 600 college students have participated within the Rainey-Shepard Enterprise Plan Competitors due to the generosity of Rainey and Russell “Rusty” Shepard (’86), who funded the endowment that generates greater than $25,000 yearly in competitors scholarships.
|Russell ”Rusty” Shepard (’86) on the marketing strategy competitors|
Upon the twentieth anniversary of the competitors this yr, Rainey chatted by way of Zoom with a number of of the alumni who look again fondly on this formative expertise.
“I talked to a bunch of competitors alumni, and it’s very shifting and significant to me once they speak concerning the impression and that it actually did put together them,” Rainey mentioned. “Many have mentioned to me that was a spotlight of their expertise within the Faculty of Enterprise. And I mentioned, ‘Nicely, , clearly that’s way over we might have ever hoped for.’”
Brett Danielson (’18), founder and CEO of BarTrack Inc., a worldwide hospitality expertise firm, was among the many alumni on the decision with Rainey.
“The competitors made me notice how a lot I like creating and fixing issues, and the way I’m going to place my all into it,” Danielson mentioned. “Going by that course of actually makes you suppose in another way and put us in a scenario that we in any other case wouldn’t have been. And who is aware of, with out the marketing strategy competitors, I might definitively say my life can be fully totally different.
“I undoubtedly view JMU as one of many largest influences on my life, and the marketing strategy competitors is correct there with it,” he mentioned.
|Solely the perfect scholar enterprise plans from COB 300 are eligible for the Rainey-Shepard competitors.|
For Rainey and Shepard, the marketing strategy competitors endowment was deliberately designed to focus the minds of the rivals.
“The second I hope for is that in 10, 15 or 20 years, they’re standing exterior a boardroom, they usually need to go in and persuade folks of their concepts, the standard of their work, the precision of their considering,” Rainey mentioned. “There’s huge cash on the road, they usually’ve already skilled that due to the marketing strategy competitors. And so, the financial element of the marketing strategy competitors isn’t life-changing for anybody, but it surely’s essential.”
Danielson mentioned of the prize cash, “The chance to win a scholarship, for us, was actually essential. I feel it mattered to each single individual on the group. , all of us have scholar debt. So, it was a giant deal for us to compete on a degree the place there was some actual reward for us if we did one thing good. It was an ideal expertise.”
Rainey mentioned many marketing strategy competitors alumni are actually a long time into their careers and have gone on to realize nice issues. “And it’s great to speak to them too,” he mentioned, “to see that they keep in mind it, and that they, in lots of instances, treasure it and really feel it helped propel them.”