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Student Experiences

Start Up Competitions

Ithaca, New York is an innovation hub for start-ups. At Ithaca College, we have decided to give students the opportunity tapped into this. In partnership with Rev Start Up Works, the School of Business host start up competitions. In the fall semester it is “Ithaca College Business Idea Demo Day” and in the spring semester it is “Ithaca College Business Pitch Demo Day."

Before competing in these competitions, students are asked to do something called "Customer Discovery." This allows them to process the needs of their potential customers in a deep and meaningful way.

Students have a number of resources to help them with their business ideas. Not only are there multiple entrepreneurship classes offered at the School of Business, there is also a student organization - the Young Entrepreneurs' Organization (YEO) - that gives them the opportunity to pitch their ideas and receive feedback from their peers.

The Fall Idea event is focused on highlighting a new idea for a new business entity. Student teams have 4 minutes to make their pitch to a panel of experienced business people. Then there is 4 minutes of Q&A with just the panel.  After hearing all of the presentations, the panel will convene in private to determine how $5,000 will be distributed to the teams.  This money is not a prize, but rather a guarantee to pay for expenses that are incurred if the teams choose to move forward with the business idea to take it to the next level.

In order for teams to qualify for the Spring Plan Demo Day, an "Audition Day" is held, where any team can pitch to a review panel for consideration for the Demo Day. The review panel watch and ask questions to every presenter, and at the conclusion of all the presentations. they will select the business idea teams for inclusion in Demo Day.

The Spring Plan Demo Day is geared towards students who are ready, or have, started a new business.  There is a higher expectation of having worked out more of the details and nuances involved in launching a new business venture.  The format of the event is each team has 10 minutes to present, then 5 minutes of Q&A from a panel of experienced business people.  After hearing all of the presentations, the panel will convene in private to determine how $15,000 will be distributed to the teams.  Similarly, this money is not a prize, but rather a guarantee to pay for expenses that are incurred if the teams choose to move forward with the business plan to take it to the next level.

 

Society for Human Resources Management

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is an organization that works to create better workplaces and help employees succeed together. Ithaca College has a collegiate chapter that was founded in 2016 as an extension of the local NY chapter and Cornell’s collegiate chapter.  Although the club is relatively new, they have been able to host a multitude of speakers discussing important topics like diversity and inclusion, how to navigate working internationally, and understanding your personal rights. SHRM@IC also operates in conjunction with a 300-level course in the Management concentration – Human Resource Management, where they host study sessions to help prep for exams.

One of the newer initiatives that SHRM has taken on is the End of the Year Celebration for graduating seniors in the Management concertation. They dedicate the celebration to Management students that have made an impact in the Management department, HR, or elsewhere throughout their career at IC. The current members of SHRM organize all the logistics of the event, including connecting with the professors, speakers, and honorees, booking the location and food, and outlining the agenda of the event.

In addition to holding events to educate and celebrate students, members of the club have traveled to compete in different competitions. There is an annual summit where local collegiate chapters of SHRM participate in a case competition focusing on real world HR issues and how they would solve them. SHRM@IC has placed within the top 3 finalists every year they’ve competed. These competitions often focus on employee relations, HR law, and compliance, so the students can see what HR professionals often have to be cognizant of in their daily professional lives. At the competition there is a presentation discussing the teams’ solutions to the issue, a chance to answer questions, and a networking opportunity with professional members of the local chapter along with other students.

Although SHRM is HR focused, it is not for just Management students who might want to go into Human Resources. Many of the events focus on ways to improve yourself as a potential candidate when you’re looking for jobs, along with things everyone should know like human rights, diversity, and how to be the best young professional you could be.