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  • Innovative Business Solutions Frequently Asked Questions

Center for Innovative Business Solutions

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  • Frequently Asked Questions for Students


    What is Dragon Consulting?

    The Center for Innovative Business Solutions creates unique real world educational experiences for Minnesota State University Moorhead students and provides valuable research, fresh ideas, and recommendations to participating businesses. Successful projects result from the following:

    • committed students
    • dedicated coaches
    • involved business participants

    Students apply to be on a team and are chosen to participate as a Dragon Consultant by the center Director and the Dean. The Director keeps the teams on track and serves as a guide and a mentor. Student teams learn by working through challenging projects.

    Client organizations pay a project fee. In turn, project teams are expected to provide businesses with a return on their investment.

    How does the Center for Innovative Business Solutions benefit students?

    With each project, the students take on the role of a consultant. Project management, communication, presentation, team building, leadership, and technical skills are developed throughout the project experience. With these valuable skills, students are prepared to step into the business world feeling confident and knowledgeable.

    How is the experience structured?

    Teams meet two times each week during the specified class time. Each team follows a project management methodology throughout the semester. Research and the development of key project deliverables generally require 7 to 10 hours of outside work depending on the phase of the project. A final presentation to the participating business brings closure to the project. At this time, the student team is expected to deliver value to the business. There are no quizzes or exams. Final grades are determined by the instructor and are dependent on the completion of key project deliverables.

    How are students selected?

    Teams include a mix of three to five undergraduate and graduate students. Students are chosen based on their competency in business, technology, and communication skills, their ability to contribute as team members, their ability to work in an unstructured environment, and their willingness and desire to learn in such an environment. Junior standing is required. College of Business and Innovation and other MSUM students are recruited the semester before a project is scheduled and go through a selection process similar to being hired for a position of employment. No student is invited (or not invited) based on his or her gender, race, religious beliefs, sexual preference, or nation of origin.

    How do students apply for a project?

    To apply, students must complete an online application which includes a cover letter, a resume and a faculty letter of recommendation. Students may apply for one or more projects. Formal interviews are scheduled with the Director and the Dean for students who are selected from the pool of applicants. Team members are chosen and all applicants are notified of their status as soon as possible after the interviews.

    Who are the Faculty Coaches?

    Faculty coaches are professors with expertise in the areas defined by the project. They act as guides and resources for teams. Coaches do not give the teams the answers. Instead, they challenge and encourage the teams to think critically about the business issues and be creative in their problem solving. They help the students with content questions related to the project.