Title

Value add: A finance case study on how to enhance student learning experience through student managed investment fund and engaged alumni network

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-28-2020

Abstract

© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to provide students with a career edge, business students require more than concepts and calculations to be successful in their future career. They require professional skill sets, mentors, relationship guides and as much real industry experience as they can gather before graduation. This study sheds some light on how a small business school (SBS) in a nonprofit private academic institution (NPAI) located in an isolated rural area of the USA has been able to tap its strong alumni relationships to provide mentoring and experiential learning opportunities to students using its student-managed investment funds (SMIFs) as the vehicle. Although this study uses a small, geographically isolated institution, the authors believe that the approach taken by this particular school can be replicated by any academic institution that strives to enhance student learning experience by promoting mentorship and experiential learning. Design/methodology/approach: This study starts with a brief introduction (Section 1) and a short review of literature (Section 2) to highlight the numerous benefits of alumni engagement and student mentorship. Section 2 shows institutional background on the NPAI, the SBS and the SMIF. The major part of the study starts with a discussion on the set of rules to guide in the construction of a student-alumni relationship framework that could be easily modified to the unique characteristics of the institution. Next, the role and responsibility of the investment advisory board (IAB) and its members’ engagement with students are discussed. In the last part of the study, SBS is used as a case study to show how alumni contribute to SBS and enhance students’ experiential learning by contributing as mentor, IAB member, advisors to the FMIF and career mentorship. This study concludes with a discussion on potential areas of conflict and friction for alumni involvement. Findings: This study shows that SBS in a NPAI has been able to tap its strong alumni relationship to provide mentoring and experiential learning opportunities to students using its SMIF as the vehicle. The authors believe that the approach taken by this particular school can be replicated by any academic institution that strives to promote mentorship and experiential learning. Research limitations/implications: This case study is focused on a SBS in a NPAI that has a strong alumni relationship and enough resources to successfully tap on its alumni. It would be interesting to learn how this approach can be used in resource-limited public institutions. Practical implications: As the case study shows, any business school that values experiential learning can rely on its alumni to enhance student learning experience by properly using its alumni resources. Social implications: The results of this study show that business schools’ outreach opportunities and student experiential learning experience can be enhanced and business schools’ academic qualification and ranking, which leads to improvement in student enrollment, can be improved. Overall, the major beneficiary would be the business schools’ immediate and larger community. Originality/value: The authors are positive that multiple universities are properly taking advantage of using their alumni relationship.

Publication Name

Journal of International Education in Business

Volume Number

13

First Page

131

Last Page

143

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1108/JIEB-07-2019-0036

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