COBA Students Participate in Spring Break Missions

by   |  04.14.14  |  Current Students, Faith Infusion, Poverty and Development

COBA’s culture is built upon the foundational principles of faith infusion and using students’ God-given gifts to impact others in the ACU community and throughout the world. This spring break, several of COBA’s students chose to spend the week serving others in the U.S. as well as abroad. Students put their faith in action by humbly submitting to the work God was calling them to do this spring break.

Six of COBA’s students, including Sarah Puckett, Alec Hartman, Eric Koster, Michael Holeman, Hannah Griffith, and Mandy Stratton, traveled to Honduras to work with Jarrod Brown and Mission Lazarus for the week. Mission Lazarus is a ministry that creates a sustainable lifestyle for local Hondurans. The organization includes a leather shop, a coffee plantation, a carpentry shop, several trade schools, a medical clinic, and an orphanage where children can learn the key skills they need to grow and be successful leaders in their society. Mission Lazarus provides work for the Honduran people, enabling them to create ways to provide for their families.

108453567_640

1979881_10152317086357329_1371337937_n   1240455_10202537323649316_945308386_n   1234232_10152317096937329_1112106205_n

“Missions are not about bringing God to a foreign country; God is already working there. Mission work is really joining with and helping our brothers and sisters in Christ in order to encourage them, sharing the common bond of love that we have for each other through God,” says Mandy Stratton, a sophomore finance major.

Neely Borger, a senior marketing major, also went to Honduras over the break with a different team. This team consisted of eight members who worked with a dental clinic located in Choluteca. In addition to working with the dental clinic, the team also organized a VBS and a soccer camp for the kids at the local church. In the future, Neely plans on working with nutrition in various medical mission fields. She believes this week was a great opportunity to see and work in a different culture and expand her worldview.

923519_10203725148118564_78460989_n   1912370_10203726298587325_874704507_n

1891175_10154017063795122_1872578512_n

“I loved being the person that made the kids from the church smile. This experience was incredibly humbling, opening my eyes to see the world from God’s perspective and the need for love and affection in such broken homes.” says Neely Borger.

Landon Long, a senior management and political science major, spent the week in New York City working with Graffiti Ministries in Brooklyn as well as a kids’ after school program in Manhattan. Graffiti Ministries is a church that caters to indigent people in the Brooklyn community. Landon and his group aided the church in several ways, including cleaning and hanging dry wall. The group also ministered to kids by helping them with homework, playing games, and sharing a devotional each day. Landon will be attending law school this fall and plans on going into the oil and gas field. After working with Owen, the lawyer for Graffiti Ministries, Landon says he could see himself working for people who cannot afford good representation.

5093745

“Working with Graffiti Missions in NYC showed me how I can use my degree in law to help serve the community, representing indigent people who are not able to afford good lawyers. I am excited to use my passion for law to serve others in need,” says Landon Long.

COBA’s mission is not only to equip students with the essential tools to be successful in the business field but also to use their unique skill sets to serve others in the world. COBA thrives on empowering students to find their callings in life, continually seeking God’s guidance and assurance for whichever path He leads them to.

COBA Officially Announces Their Reaccreditation With AASCB

by   |  04.04.14  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion

low_res_black

After the AACSB Business Accreditation Peer Review Team visited ACU’s campus in January, their Board of Directors and Continuous Improvement Review Committee have officially announced the extension of accreditation of the business degree programs offered at ACU’s College of Business Administration.  Accreditation with AACSB is the hallmark of excellence in business education. Accredited business schools must  meet specific standards of excellence, with their deans, faculty, and professional staff committing to ensure and deliver the highest quality of education to students. This accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide, with less than 5% of the world’s 13,000 business programs having earned AACSB Accreditation. Accredited schools produce graduates that are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools.

AACSB is a non-profit corporation of business schools, accounting programs, corporations, and other organizations devoted to the promotion and improvement of higher education in business administration and accounting. The organization was founded in 1916 and established its first standards for degree programs in business administration in 1919. To become accredited, a business school must go through a process of self-evaluation and peer review. There are a total of 694 member institutions, with representation in 45 countries. In Texas, there are a total of 36 accredited schools, eight of those being private universities. The private universities include ACU, Baylor, Rice, SMU, St. Mary’s, TCU, Trinity, and the University of Dallas.

The primary purpose of AACSB is to provide exceptional standards, carefully evaluating a business institution’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas of the school. An AACSB accredited school ensures students and parents that the business school is providing an exceptional education, as well as employers that these students are ready to enter the business field and perform well due to the high quality education. For the staff and faculty, an accredited institution attracts high-quality students and supports the promotion of research opportunities and global recognition.

COBA initially became accredited through the AACSB in 2004. Every five years, the Continuous Improvement Review Team from AACSB visits the campus to audit the quality and compliance of the business school, talking with students and faculty in regards to the quality of education and learning. 2014 marked the third visit for the team and the process of re-accrediting the college. Mirroring the previous two visits, the team was thoroughly impressed with the high standards and unique culture of COBA. Throughout the visit, members constantly commended COBA for its commitment to faith implementation and superior learning and engagement opportunities, including STAR, study abroad, Leadership Summit, and global leadership development. Faculty’s participation in training, research, development, and preparation also impressed the board.

The overall culture of excellence and hospitality truly made an impact on the team, clearly magnifying the quality and standards that distinguish ACU’s business school from the rest. The persistent drive for constant innovation, engagement, and impact with students, employees, and the community has made COBA excel in all areas, offering an environment that is determined to provide students and faculty with an experience full of value and excellence. COBA strives for innovation, continuously seeking opportunities to learn and expand student’s knowledge by using optimal sources. COBA’s faculty is committed to engaging with students and supplying them with the tools necessary to become successful in the workplace. For years, ACU’s College of Business has engraved these principles into each student and faculty member, integrating leadership and business skills with a firm foundation in Godly and faith-based principles. Becoming re-accredited with the AASCB is a clear confirmation of God’s work taking place in the College of Business Administration at ACU.

ACU-Image-for-CofD-1-450x300

Click here to read ACU’s official press release on COBA’s re-accreditation. You can learn more about AACSB and the importance of choosing an accredited business school by clicking here.

10 COBA Secrets for Success

by   |  04.01.14  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Study Abroad

1. Get to know professors.

COBA’s professors are committed to equipping students to be successful in all aspects of life. By engaging and interacting with students, professors are able to build strong relationships with students that will last a lifetime. Professors are eager to help students at all times with academics, future career plans, and with their spiritual walk.

2. Connections are the key.

Start networking and connecting with ACU and COBA alumni. COBA has representatives all over the world. By making these connections, students are able to gain real insight from experienced professionals who graduated from ACU. By simply engaging with alumni, students have a great opportunity to learn about specific job industries, land internships, and network for job offerings.

3. Get involved.

COBA has many opportunities for students to get involved. They offer organizations including STAR, AMA (American Marketing Association), and Women in Business for students to get plugged into COBA’s community. Events such as Springboard and Distinguished Speakers Series are also great ways for students to make connections and learn from real life applications. Check out the student organizations you can be a part of here.

4. Seek opportunities.

COBA encourages students to constantly seek opportunities to learn and grow, in academics and in their spiritual walk. The COBA culture and community thrives on faith infusion, instilling critical values and principles for students to build their foundation on. Growth is the effect of seeking opportunities and learning in different situations. The path to success is not a sprint but a marathon. COBA encourages students to continually look for opportunities to grow and learn.

5. Finding the balance.

In all aspects of life, finding the right balance is the key to success. COBA strives to help students find the right balance for learning how to lead in your job, home, church and community. When life is well-balanced, the peace of Jesus is upon you. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because He trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

6. What’s the plan?

COBA encourages students to have a plan, a road-map with checkpoints that lead to their hopes for future goals. Tim Johnston and Samantha Matta are continually working with students in the classroom, as well as individually, to create a plan that is uniquely designed for each student. In the classroom, Tim and Samantha prepare students through class insertions that focus on developing students professionally, including career testing, mock interviews, and relevant projects created for students to encounter real life experiences.

7. Be a risk taker.

In the words of Bill Cosby, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” Life is full of opportunities; the question is whether or not we will take advantage of those opportunities. Jesus calls us out onto the water and promises us that through faith, we will not sink. In the business world and in all areas of life, God gives us the chance to take a step of faith and walk into rough waters. With great risk comes great reward.

8. Diversify your worldview.

COBA believes in expanding students’ worldviews, enabling them to see businesses in other cultural contexts. COBA offers several study abroad programs, including Australia, Oxford, and Central America. These programs are a great way for students to experience God working through business in other cultures and to gain global experience in the marketplace. Learn more about COBA’s Study Abroad program here.

9. Confidence. Godfidence.

God has gifted each individual with the ability to create. We encourage our students to step out of their comfort zones and discover all that God has in store for them with confidence. With God, all things are possible.

10. Believe in your purpose.

Each student is on a journey, discovering his/her own gifts and passions that can be used to write their story. We encourage students to find their passions; soon those passions will lead them directly to their purpose. Every student has a story to write, a calling to live out. COBA wants to provide the community and culture that empowers and enables students to discover everything they are called to be in life.

 

 

 

 

Mark Your Calenders for Exxon Mobil’s Mark W. Albers

by   |  03.19.14  |  COBA Events, Distinguished Speakers Series, Special Speakers

Mark W. Albers

 

On March 26th, Mark W. Albers, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation, will be visiting ACU as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. Mark joined the company in 1979 and has worked numerous positions, including managerial positions in development, operations, and engineering. He has also worked in Melbourne, Australia as a technical manager and operations manager. In 2001, he became the vice president, Africa, Chad/Nigeria for the ExxonMobil Development Company in Houston. Albers has served as executive assistant to the chairman of Exxon Mobil Corporation at headquarters in Irving, TX. After this position, he then became the president of ExxonMobil Development Company in October of 2004. In April 2007, Mark was named the senior vice president of the company in Houston.

Albers is a member of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Council of International Business, the Texas A&M Engineering Advisory Council, the Society of Petroleum Engineers Industry Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.

Mark was born in Calgary, Canada and later moved to Houston. He grew up around the oil and gas industry and pursued this field of study at Texas A&M, graduating in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering. Today, he works with different governments in influencing them to allow Exxon to come in and work, explore, develop, and produce in those countries. Mark and his wife, Cindy, currently live in The Woodlands, Texas.

Albers highly believes in the value of faith in the marketplace. He states that his faith has been the strong foundation that has built his career and the man he is today. COBA looks forward to hosting him next week. There are less than 50 tickets left for the event. Visit the COBA website to learn more and purchase tickets to the luncheon at www.acu.edu/coba.

COBA Grads Go Social!

by   |  02.28.14  |  COBA Alumni, Entrepreneurship, Faith Infusion, Internships, Placement stories, School of Information Technology and Computing

photo 1

 

Imagine having a set of social listening tools that can measure exactly how effective your brand’s sharable content is. Well it is time to stop daydreaming and get social! In the fall of 2012, six founding members, including former ACU, SITC, and COBA graduates Brad Neathery (2011), Clay Selby (2011), and Braxton Huggins (2010), teamed up and created SocialRest, a set of specific tools designed to measure social shareability, engagement, and conversions made from a brand’s website content across social platforms. SocialRest measures how social users engage with a brand because of user-shared content from their website. SocialRest then follows that social user if they visit that brand’s website, listening to how they engage with content on the site and measuring conversion rates on the brand’s website.

In the fall of 2012, founder of SocialRest, Clay Selby who majored in IT in the School of Information Technology and Computing, pitched the idea at a conference in San Antonio called Three Day Startup. After the event, Clay and co-founder, Brandon Ashton, started developing the idea. After a long process of building, measuring, and learning, SocialRest became a reality, with potential to be one of the top start-ups of 2014. This set of social tools features social analytics, simple integration, impression tracking, customer behavior interest, and ROI tracking. SocialRest can also determine whether the content written on a regular basis is successful. News sites, brand-building blogs, and businesses that rely heavily on their content creators can benefit greatly with these measuring tools. SocialRest can help businesses observe, visualize, and adapt to customer responses on their site, making the process of seeing user engagement and conversion highly efficient.

The SocialRest team expects the site to become the premier listening tool for B2C (business to consumer) brands with shareable content on their website or blog. SocialRest has recently been ranked by ClubLab (a London philanthropic agency) as one of the 12 start-ups to watch in 2014, alongside high-caliber brands like Nest (acquired by Google), Topsy (acquired by Apple), and other legendary start-ups. In the month of February, SocialRest increased Twitter followers by 1200% and received over 20,000 social mentions. This company is definitely one to watch, with mentions from ClubLab’s “Top Start-ups to Watch in 2014″ and Chelsea Krost’s “2014 The Year of the Millennial”.

Brad Neathery, an ACU and COBA graduate who  majored in marketing, credits their success to a number of factors, including the positive mentoring influences and constant engagement with potential users of the tools. Brad also stressed how much the Lord has aided in the process, working in miraculous ways to bring glory to His kingdom. “Christ calls us to serve his people in everything that we do, and philanthropy is nothing more than an act of service. SocialRest is made up of team members that are constantly stumbling toward the cross together, and our foundation is built upon accountability in business and in life,” says Brad. SocialRest exemplifies the values COBA instills in students, preparing them to go into the world with a missional mindset and determination to bring glory to Christ and his kingdom through all aspects of business and in life. SocialRest is looking for interns for the summer of 2014. If any students are interested in the internship, they can contact COBA’s career development team, Tim Johnston or Samantha Matta.

photo 3

photo 2

“COBA craft’s the vision of its students to understand the world for what it is, and to then take their own approach on how to achieve their goals. There is an underlying belief that life should be seen as an opportunity, challenges seen as the first step to growth, and success to be seen as a humble awareness of how magnificent our creator is,” says Brad Neathery, former ACU and COBA graduate.

 

 

 

It is That Time of Year: Springboard!

by   |  02.26.14  |  COBA Events, City of Abilene, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

springboard

The highly anticipated event we have all been waiting for is just around the corner! Registration for the seventh annual Springboard Ideas challenge is now open and ready to start accepting applicants for 2014. Springboard is a business plan competition that takes place each year through the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy. Contestants vary, including some who have ideas and are seeking to start a business and others who have already established small businesses. The cash prizes come from several local sponsors. This year, certain phases of the competition have changed. The initial application process has been revamped to make each transition phase flow more smoothly for applicants.

The competition includes three different divisions: the community-growth division, the community-small business division, and the college division. The first, second, and third place winners in each division will receive cash prizes. For the college division, the first place winner will receive $7,500, the second place winner will receive $3,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. In the community-growth division, the first place winner will receive $15,000, the second place winner will receive $5,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. For the community-small business, the first place winner will receive $5,000, the second place winner will receive $3,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be a permanent resident of one of the qualifying 19 counties surrounding the Abilene area.

To enter the competition, applicants must initially complete an online application and pay the registration fee. The online application deadline is 5 P.M. on March 7th. Once the judging panel has advanced chosen contestants on to the next phase of the competition, a mini-business plan must be submitted. The business plan should address the fundamental issues of interest to potential investors. This document should highlight the most important and interesting points of the business, which should give potential investors a general understanding of why this venture would succeed. Contestants who advance to the next phase of the competition qualify as finalists and must prepare a presentation for a live panel of judges. The exact date, time, and location will vary by division but will take place during the week of April 6-12, 2014. Participants will be given 10 minutes to present their idea to the judges and will then be subject to 10-15 minutes of Q&A from the judges.The final phase of the competition will be the awards dinner, which will take place on April 15th. All finalists will display their ideas as part of an exhibit hall before the dinner, and then the winners of each division will be announced during the dinner. This year, Stuart Crum, President for Bridgestone Retail Operations, will be speaking at the awards ceremony.

Students have represented COBA well in the past Springboard competitions. Typically, around 30-4 students from around campus enter the competition each year. Last year, senior Luke Luttrell won first place in the college division with his Right Route idea. Right Route is a mobile app similar to Google Maps but offers more route options, optimizing the fastest route between as many desired destinations. Dr. Brent Reeves and Dr. Brian Burton were two professors that helped Luke develop his idea for the app. Luke believes that COBA was absolutely fundamental to winning Springboard. He credits his success to the help of such great professors in COBA, reiterating how involved and willing they were to reach out and help him on his journey to success. Luke also praises the competition in regards to the process. He says, “Springboard gives students the opportunity to present an idea to a panel of investors with entrepreneurial experience, resulting in great feedback on the idea and business model.” Luke has learned to always seek entrepreneurial opportunities and encourages anyone with even the smallest idea to enter the competition. Springboard is a great opportunity to grow one’s entrepreneurial skills and gain relevant experience through a high value process and interaction with professional entrepreneurs.

Springboard-015   Springboard-033   Springboard-027

Springboard-001   Springboard-171

“The Springboard Ideas Challenge is a great opportunity for any student who is interested in entrepreneurial pursuits. It offers an unbelievable experience because it forces students to turn a simple idea into a fully functioning business model,” says Luke Luttrell, senior COBA student and winner of the 2013 Springboard Challenge.

 

Students Experience City Square

by   |  02.13.14  |  Academics, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Poverty and Development, Social Entrepreneurship

acucityaquare

During January, several COBA students as well as non-business majors took a January short course, Social Entrepreneurship, with Dr. Laura Phillips at City Square in Dallas. In the fall of 2012, ACU began to partner with City Square, combining curricular and co-curricular experiences for student leadership development. CitySquare is a faith-based, non-profit, human and community development corporation that promotes learning and formation through engagement, including projects, courses, internships, formative experiences, and degree programs. Courses at City Square offer opportunities for in-context learning, allowing students to be hands-on outside of the traditional classroom.

During the short course, 18 guests came to speak with students about social organizations and the different pieces that make up these organizations. The class offered a series of breakfast lectures where speakers discussed vital parts of nonprofit businesses that must be considered when working for or starting any nonprofit. Guests speakers, including Suzanne Smith, Founder and Managing Director of Social Impacts Architects and Co-Founder of Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub, spoke about measuring success from a social perspective. Mark Jacobs, Senior Director of Operations for The Medicines Company, started His Chase Foundation in 2010 and is now focusing all efforts in Rwanda, providing 250+ students with educational opportunities. Mark gave students opportunities to engage and brainstorm ideas for his initiatives in Rwanda. Speakers also addressed questions concerning other aspects of a non-profit organization such as raising funds, the grant application process, how to start a board of members, social media, and the basic business principles included in a financial statement.

The majority of the class was comprised of business majors but all students found the information very useful even if they had no intention of starting an enterprise. Shanleigh Clinton, a nutrition major, says that she was worried the material would not be applicable to her. However, she says, “This class actually helped me understand how to balance mission and margin and how to have a greater impact in what I do.” Shanleigh plans on becoming a registered dietician, partnering with a feeding and nutrition education program and potentially working with a social enterprise.

Chase jon shan al pres 1   Fundraising breakfast 2

Al Shanleigh

 

Aussie Adventure Part 3: No Worries, See You In Sydney!

by   |  01.28.14  |  Current Students, Faith Infusion, Study Abroad

sydney7 sydney5 sydney10

After an unforgettable experience in Moree, the group was eager to head to the big city of Sydney! After a long day of travel (8 hours on a bus and another hour on a plane to be exact), the weary group met Dr. Shepherd at the Adina Hotel in the heart of the city. With its tall buildings, beautiful beaches, quaint local coffee shops and cafes, and other unique attractions, students were ready to explore everything Sydney had to offer. Students met for one last class to discuss and debrief their experiences over the past week in Moree.

sydney6   sydney11  sydney8

sydney12  sydney13

For the next couple of days, students spent their time exploring the grand city. Some local “must see places” included Patty’s Market, the famous Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, Darling Harbor, the Sydney Bridge, and the world famous Sydney Opera House. Some of the students joined  Dr. Vardiman and his wife, Jackie, and took a dinner cruise around the Sydney Harbor one night. Many students went to see the showing of “The Magic Flute” at the Sydney Opera House. One day, the group went on a hike deep into the Blue Mountains, seeing a variety of forest life and high waterfalls. They also visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park, a zoo with Australian animals, including koala bears, kangaroos, and several different bird species. On the last day of the trip, a group of students went to the Hillsong Church in Sydney. Hillsong is a praise and worship band known throughout the world. Students were able to attend the worship service and meet some of the band members.

aussie13

“Hillsong is one of my absolute favorite bands! Going to this church was the perfect way to end our trip. I will never forget the memories and friendships that I made in Australia! Traveling abroad is definitely one of the highlights of my college career,” says Angela Conway, a junior math major minoring in business.

On January 12, it was time to say goodbye to the Aussies and travel back to America. Brisbane, Moree, and Sydney had been completely different, each offering unique Australian experiences in a new cultural context. Students came back to Abilene with a greater understanding of global entrepreneurship and how business operations function in a different country. Working with the native Aboriginal children in Moree allowed students to apply concepts learned in class to see the impact of technology and education in impoverished areas.

So long sunny skies, sandy beaches, and Aussie accents. It’s time to head back to Abilene! G’day-until we meet again!

aussie12

The group says goodbye to Australia as they head to the Sydney airport.

Aussie Adventure Part 2: Into the Outback at Moree!

by   |  01.22.14  |  Current Students, Faith Infusion, Study Abroad

moree7     moree8     moree3

After a week in Brisbane, the group headed to a small town called Moree in the Australian Outback. In Moree, students planned to work with native Aboriginal children with different forms of technology, including the iPad, Microsoft Office programs, and other programs on both the Mac and PC systems. The team was excited to partner with missionary Brad Johnson and expand upon the principles they had learned concerning global poverty and lack of education in class the previous week. Working with these less fortunate kids was a great way to broaden students’ perspectives with global mission work, focusing on education in an impoverished area. Unfortunately, Dr. Ian Shepherd was not able to come to Moree due to an illness he came down with in Brisbane. Dr. Phil Vardiman along with his wife, Jackie, and the 22 students stayed at a private school in Moree.

moree5

“I was not sure what to expect coming into Moree. By the end of our visit, I had built strong relationships with many of the Aboriginal children. It was neat knowing that I had planted a seed for the continuing of their education,” says Alex Cotton, a sophomore Accounting major.

Every day, around 25 students from the local community came to the private school. Each ACU student was partnered with one of the local kids from the neighborhood. For most of the day, ACU students would work with the kids using different technological programs, teaching them various functions on Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, iMovie, and other general applications on the iPad. After a couple of days, many of the local kids felt more comfortable using these programs. The kids were fast learners, quickly applying the new skills they had learned to projects they worked on throughout the week. The children did learn many new computer skills; however, seeing strong relationships form between ACU students and the kids was also a highlight of the trip.

moree4   moree2   moree10

For the final project, groups of students acted out and filmed parts of Bible stories with the kids. The Bible stories included Jonah and the whale, Moses and the 10 plagues, and David and Goliath. Using the iMovie program, students edited the videos and then showed them to the entire group at an “awards” ceremony the last day. Working with the Aboriginal kids allowed ACU’s students to take concepts learned in the classroom and apply those principles in a real life situation. ACU students walked away with a greater understanding of poverty and lack of education in a different culture. They also left Moree truly feeling how God’s presence had blessed both them and these children over the past four days.

 

 

Aussie Adventure Part 1: From Dallas to Brisbane!

by   |  01.17.14  |  Current Students, Study Abroad

aussie5  aussie7

 

On December 26th, 22 students along with Dr. Phil Vardiman and Australian native Dr. Ian Shepherd boarded a plane heading to Australia. 16 hours later, the group arrived in Brisbane. Unlike the cold Texas winter, Brisbane offered sunny skies and a beautiful beach in walking distance of the Mantra hotel. Students were eager to explore the amazing coast, do some sight seeing, and learn about the business environment in the Australian context. The perfect combination of a relaxing vacation, learning about business operations in a different culture, making lifelong friendships, and experiencing God in an entirely new way…what better way could students spend a winter break?!

A major theme throughout the trip focused on poverty and its effect on business opportunities throughout the global marketplace. In Brisbane, students met twice for class to watch videos and discuss the challanges associated with businesses in countries that struggle with poverty. Students were able to share opinions and ideas about how to decrease these poverty rates, integrating Christian values and perspectives with a mission to aid entrepreneurs in developing countries with starting new businesses across the globe.

aussie10

Also in Brisbane, students were able to tour two local businesses, Industrial Tool Service and Carba-tec. Both companies allowed students to see how business operations differered in Australia from the United States. Industrial Steel Company is a smaller, family run business with only four employees. The company caters mainly to local businesses, specializing in bike pedals and other custom made steel products. Carba-tec is a company that specializes in wood making machines, offering a variety of products specifically designed for the creative handyman. At Carba-tec, students were able to visit with the company’s CFO, CMO, and head of operations. They also toured the facility, including the calling center, the distribution center, and the retail store. Despite the differences, both businesses shared the common theme that honesty, integrity, and customer satisfaction are critical factors in running a successful organization anywhere in the world.

aussie9    aussie11

“Touring Industrial Tool Service and Carba-tec allowed us to see the business environment in a new culture. It is always refreshing to get new perspectives on how operations are done differently in different settings,” said Libby Sinclair, a senior marketing major.

So were students allowed to participate in any other activites besides touring businesses and meeting for class? Oh yes! Students had plenty of free time to hang out by the beach, explore and shop in Surfer’s Paradise, go snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, and a couple of crazy students even went skydiving! On New Year’s Eve, many students went to the beach to watch an amazing fireworks show. On one of the days, students went on a four-wheeling tour up the mountain, learning how to throw a boomerang, seeing kangaroos and koalas, and hiking into a rainforest to see numerous forms of wildlife and plant life.

After long days on the beach, wildlife adventures, and visiting local Australian businesses, it was time to say goodbye to Brisbane and head to the Outback! Next stop: Moree!

Aussie1  aussie3  aussie8

aussie2  aussie6