Team Spotlight Jan 17

Making a Better Michigan Team Spotlight: Michigan State University MBA Students

Our true work at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor is providing an exceptional experience for every member. A team of students from the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business Executive MBA Program committed their time and business skills to help the Clubs recruit and retain the best talent to deliver the optimal Club Experience to our members. 

A national study by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America found a direct correlation between the experience that members have and attaining our three priority outcomes for academic success, character and leadership development, and engaging in healthy lifestyles. Members who have a favorable Club Experience are more likely to volunteer in their community, be on track to graduate from high school, be more physically active, and less likely to consume alcohol, skip school, or engage in fights.
Supportive, trusting, adult relationships with members are the key to an optimal Club Experience. That starts with having the right instructors prepared to advise and empower our young people to work on developing their fullest potential. Brian Saxton, Chief Executive Officer explains, “We had most of the puzzle pieces; we lacked the picture on the puzzle box. The executive MBA students created that picture to construct a human resources process that helps the Club recruit and retain the very best talent; they completed the puzzle.” 

Home to more than 7,700 students, approximately 6,700 undergraduates and 980 graduate and doctoral students, the Eli Broad College of Business is one of the largest business schools in the country. Students in the Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) program who participate in Social Impact Project teams make a difference throughout Michigan. They apply skills learned in the EMBA program—such as teamwork, problem-
solving and integrative management—to help organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs. Eight-month team projects typically involve four or five students with business experience, a faculty lead, and an alumni/staff project advisor. 

“The students in our Social Impact Project team have benchmarked and designed a high performance work environment that is essential for creating a continuously improving Club Experience for our nearly 2,000 youth and teen members.” Saxton continues, “This means attracting and retaining the highest quality instructors and volunteers, as well as recognizing individual and organizational performance.” 

“The Club benefits from the diverse team of experienced working professionals in the EMBA program. They had the background, education, and focus to identify and design key human resources practices and the processes needed to support the Clubs’ strategic objectives.” Saxton concluded, “We are now working on implementing those practices so our members get the most benefit from our talented instructors and structured programs.”

In a recent interview with the Herald Palladium, MBA Student Chrissy Hogie of Whirlpool Corporation said, “The best thing we can do for the kids is to find good instructors and help the Club keep them.” 

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