UNG Enactus team takes social entrepreneurship globally

by Kate Toburen, junior marketing major and marketing intern, Mike Cottrell College of Business

At the Mike Cottrell College of Business we encourage our students to grow strong communities within the university and beyond the walls of our institution. The UNG Enactus club is a perfect representation of what it means to build these stronger communities on and off campus.

As an organization, Enactus clubs around the world enable community progress through entrepreneurial action. Their efforts are focused on building entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into sustainable progress for their communities. The UNG Enactus club has developed several projects to aid organizations such as the Angel House and Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK). Many of the projects focus around teaching families how to grow their own nutritious food through gardening, along with providing career development workshops.

Graduate Emile Phommavongsy and former UNG Enactus president had this to say about her experience in Enactus: “Out of all of my college experiences at UNG, my involvement with Enactus has definitely been the most life changing. While my position as president of the organization required a lot of dedication and long hours, the personal growth and the impact we made in the community were the best rewards I could ever have asked for. I have always thought that changing the world would require a college degree or a high salary. However, through Enactus, I realized that you can change the world just by improving your own community.”

Students pose at the Belize City sign
UNG Enactus students pose while on the Belize study abroad tour.

In addition to the efforts of UNG Enactus in north Georgia, they have taken their entrepreneurial spirit outside of the Unitied States to Belize where they have established a series of economic development projects and workshops over the past few years. Their efforts have ranged from basic skills training to teaching locals how to use recycled materials to create jewelry and other items that can be sold. The materials for the workshops in Belize this year were provided by the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Accelerator that the UNG Enactus club won at the National Enactus Competition in 2016.

This passion for improving their communities has led to a variety of honors for the organization, both past and present. UNG Enactus has been named Regional Champion annually for more than 20 years, and earlier this week, the UNG Enactus team was declared a grand prize winner at the United States Enactus National USA Rally of Champions.  At the competition, they received first place in the Unilever BrightFuture Project Accelerator and Nature Made Healthy Living Challenge, second place in Coca Cola’s Uncap Opportunities for Women Challenge, and third place in the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Accelerator.

After competing in the Enactus National USA Rally of Champions and the Enactus Project Accelerators, the UNG Enactus team moved on to the Enactus USA National Championship in Kansas City, Missouri.

UNG Enactus poses for a photo.
The UNG Enactus team finished 33rd out of 105 US teams competing at the Enactus USA National Championship.

The club presented several projects at the Enactus competitions where a panel of business leaders assess the project’s ability to improve the quality and standards of living for those in need.  Total, UNG Enactus finished 33rd out of 105 teams competing at the championship, they claimed 5 National awards, and won $23,250 in prize money. In addition, Mike Cottrell College of Business associate dean of students Katie Simmons was named one of two national Walton Fellow of the Year award recipients. This award is given annually to two individuals from a college or university who have done the most to advance the entire Enactus organization during the academic year and who have made outstanding contributions to Enactus students and the team on their campus.

For more information, or to watch Mrs. Simmons receive her award, visit the UNG Enactus Facebook page.

Internship Spotlight: Mallory Ellis

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

At the Mike Cottrell College of Business, we encourage students to pursue internships related to their field of study. Mallory Ellis, who is a senior accounting and information systems major, with a minor in Spanish, is currently an intern at M3 Accounting + Analytics. Their company primarily focuses on making accounting software for hotels. Mallory is responsible for quality assurance. In this role, she runs tests in order to find bugs in software and documents the trouble areas.

So far, Mallory has had a terrific experience. She enjoys the friendly culture of M3 Accounting + Analytics. Everyone that she has worked with has been very helpful and willing to answer her questions. She has really enjoyed being a part of a team and working towards the goal of rewriting software for their main product.

Mallory discovered M3 Accounting + Analytics through Beta Alpha Psi, UNG’s honors society for accounting, finance, and information systems majors. She went to a career reception in the fall and had the opportunity to speak to people from M3. She interviewed in October and was given the internship for the spring semester.

Throughout her college career, there have been several courses that have helped her in her internship. A couple of these classes include: Systems Analysis and Design and Project Management. Mallory said that, “It’s neat to see how the concepts I’m learning about in these classes are playing out in a real life software project that I am a part of. Meanwhile, having a fundamental knowledge of accounting has also been valuable because I understand why we are trying to make the system do what it needs to do. For example, we have a control built in that does not allow a journal entry to be posted unless the debits and credits are equal, in compliance with U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).”

Mallory’s advice to students who are seeking an internship is to, “Make connections everywhere you go, and go to every networking event — until it becomes awkward when people don’t remember your name.” She also encourages accounting, finance, and information systems majors to get involved with Beta Alpha Psi, because she found both of her internships and her post graduation full-time job through this organization. Mallory is also grateful for the resources that Career Services offers. She was given feedback for resumes, and had a chance to do mock interviews and attend career fairs. Mallory’s professors also provided a lot of support. She said, “We have some pretty amazing faculty at UNG — thank you! The work that you do is appreciated.”

Through the help of Beta Alpha Psi, career services, and the terrific professors at the Mike Cottrell College of Business, Mallory was able to excel in her internships and land a full time job. We asked Mallory what her plans were post graduation and she said, “Post graduation, Lord-willing, I’m getting married and moving to Atlanta, where I will start working at Mauldin and Jenkins. Mauldin and Jenkins is a CPA firm that has a variety of clients, including nonprofit and governmental organizations. I will either be doing tax work or audit work, and I also plan to begin studying for the CPA exam.”

5 Ways an Existing Business Could Benefit a Pitch Competition

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

When you think of a pitch competition, you probably think of start-ups — and the show Shark Tank. However, a pitch competition isn’t solely for startups or the contestants of Shark Tank. In fact, pitch competitions pose a great opportunity for all entrepreneurs, even those with existing businesses. Here are 5 ways that your business could benefit from a pitch competition:

  1. Gain funding

Have you thought about expanding your business, but you don’t want to get a loan? A pitch competition is the perfect way for you to gain additional funding — no strings, banks, or loans attached.

  1. Rethink your business

As an entrepreneur, it is critical to keep your customer at the forefront of your mind. However, it is also easy to lose sight of your value proposition and why you do what you do. Through the pitch creation process, you will look at your business from many different angles. In turn, this will allow you to rethink the value that you are bringing to your customer — as well as why your business is in existence in the first place.

  1. Gain new mentors

The organizations that run pitch competitions are filled with potential mentors. Many of them have started businesses of their own and are willing to give advice to fellow entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the connections that your mentors have will allow you to further grow your network.

  1. Gain new perspective

As human beings, it is in our nature to surround ourselves with like-minded people. As an entrepreneur, it is important to surround yourself with many different types of people who can bring new perspectives to the table. By participating in a pitch challenge, you will meet other entrepreneurs with varying perspectives that will help you grow and evolve your business.

  1. Create some buzz

Participating in a pitch challenge creates free publicity for your business. The investment groups that hold pitch competitions also invest in media coverage. Often times, newspapers, magazines, and TV stations cover stories on pitch competitions.

Are you ready to grow and evolve your business? Enter for a chance to win $10,000: https://ung.edu/center-entrepreneurship-innovation/startitup-challenge/index.php


Internship Spotlight: Melanie Powell

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

A degree in business is truly applicable in any field. Melanie Powell, a senior marketing major with a minor in biology, uses her degree everyday in her internship with ProCare Rx, a pharmaceutical company in Gainesville.

Melanie is interning as a Marketing Clerk and takes on many different tasks. Her key day-to-day activities include: maintaining the RFP database, increasing efficiency, and producing information sheets that are distributed to clients when they are diagnosed with new diseases.

So far, this internship has allowed Melanie to gain a lot of experience in the corporate world. Her dream was to be able to combine her two passions – Healthcare and Marketing. This internship in the marketing department of a pharmaceutical company does just that. She enjoys getting to show her creative side when she provides input on marketing ideas.

Melanie received a lot of help from her internship coordinator when it came to finding her internship, preparing her resume and practicing for her interview. Her Consumer Behavior and Digital Marketing classes equipped her with necessary skills her for this internship. Melanie said that Consumer Behavior has helped her, “understand the corporate world not only from the company view, but from the view of the consumer” and the digital marketing course allowed her “to understand proper layouts as well as social media insights.”

Melanie believes that an internship is “definitely worth it because you learn and gain crucial experience before you graduate.” Moreover, “an internship shows motivation and ambition that looks very impressive to future employers.”

When we interviewed Melanie, she was in the process of discussing a position with her internship after graduation. Since then, she was offered a job for the Digital Marketing and Inside Sales position. It is safe to say that, “ Internships are definitely worth it!” She is extremely excited and she “can’t wait to see what the future unfolds.”

Internship Spotlight: Stephan Morgan, Novagradac & Company, LLP

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

Have you ever wondered how your peers land internships at prestigious companies? Stephan Morgan, senior accounting major, shed some light on how he landed an internship with Novogradac & Company, LLP. In his current role, he completes audit engagements for various partnerships, conducts business specific research, gathers and analyzes data, interprets results, and compiles reports for clients.

We asked Stephan how he was successful in procuring his internship and his reply was, “I owe this internship to Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) at UNG. I first met with a principal from Novogradac three years ago at a BAP banquet where we sat at the same table and talked over dinner. I stayed in contact with her throughout the years at various BAP events, and I was eventually contacted about an internship opportunity.”

As far as being prepared for his internship, Stephan said that, “I can pull from something I have learned in almost every class I’ve taken in the Mike Cottrell College of Business.” Of course, all of his accounting classes have been very beneficial. However, he also learned a lot of important business skills from his management and business communications classes. These courses have given him some insight when it comes to dealing with particular situations down to composing a well-written email.

If you are pursuing an internship, Stephan encourages you to network and stay in contact with the people in your network. He also stressed the importance of getting involved and building your resume; “Being involved shows that you know how to multitask and find a good work-life balance.” By being a part of Beta Alpha Psi, he “learned soft skills through the professional development meetings, had numerous opportunities to travel, network, and deepen his understanding of the accounting world.” Stephan said, “I honestly believe that without BAP I would not be set up for such success like I am today.”

Through his hard work, dedication, and the connections that he was able to foster through the Mike Cottrell College of Business, Stephan was able to land an incredible internship. Prior to the final version of this article, Stephan said that, “The skills that he has gained in this internship will be extremely valuable for his future endeavors.” Indeed, this rings true, as Stephan was recently hired by Novogradac & Company, LLP.

 In the future, he plans to “continue his work in the public accounting world at Novogradac & Company, LLP, and begin his journey towards obtaining his CPA license.”