Browser warning

Endowment Powers Winning Teamwork, Experience Prepares Spartans

Published: November 30, 2017
“My team interacted face-to-face with Regions Bank management and executives,” said Dorina Hart ’17, an entrepreneurship major and competition participant. “Regions Bank was impressed with our recommendations and awarded all seven finalist teams, instead of one, a cash bonus.”
“My team interacted face-to-face with Regions Bank management and executives,” said Dorina Hart ’17, an entrepreneurship major and competition participant. “Regions Bank was impressed with our recommendations and awarded all seven finalist teams, instead of one, a cash bonus.”

“I knew greater collaboration between UT and the Tampa Bay business community would create a winning team,” said Vincent Naimoli, founder of the Tampa Bay Rays and creator of the Naimoli Institute for Business Strategy at UT.

The institute’s Strategic Analysis Program has performed more than 650 consultations for Tampa Bay–area businesses and nonprofits since it was founded in 1998.

“Since our participation, we have implemented recommendations and are seeing positive results,” said Jeff Skowronek, associate professor of psychology and Pepin Academies Hillsborough County and Foundation board president.

Students in the Strategic Analysis Program evaluated the needs of Pepin Academies to communicate between its three campuses, align its mission statement with its services and introduce new marketing efforts.

While the institute’s MBA students participate in the Strategic Analysis Program, undergraduates participate in a Case Study Competition.

“My team interacted face-to-face with Regions Bank management and executives,” said Dorina Hart ’17, an entrepreneurship major and competition participant. “Regions Bank was impressed with our recommendations and awarded all seven finalist teams, instead of one, a cash bonus.”

Students had the opportunity to interview with Regions Bank. Other program participants, including Lowry Park Zoo, Bank of Tampa and Starbucks, have provided positive feedback, wanting to participate again. As they focus on day-to-day management and operations, they value the outside perspective, analysis and recommendations of the student teams.

“Students leave the Naimoli Institute for Business Strategy prepared for the next step in their careers,” said Jody Tompson, institute director and professor of management and entrepreneurship. “This experience provides opportunities that differ from what a classroom provides. Students face the complexity of strategic decisions in real-time.”

Tompson emphasizes how hands-on experience teaches communication, critical thinking and problem-solving, and Hart has seen this firsthand. She believes that experiential education accelerated her learning.

“Mistakes become lessons. Learning teamwork skills helps students to become more competitive in the job market,” she said. “I’m ready to enter the workforce and lead myself, team and clients to success.”

This feature appeared in the Fall 2017 UT Journal. Read the full magazine.