Archive for September, 2011

Career Connect: Event Planning

by   |  09.29.11  |  COBA Events, Careers In..., Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Special Speakers

Earlier this month we hosted our first Career Connect event of the fall semester. We were honored to welcome two very successful wedding and event planners – Luanna Cole of The Plantation House in Pflugerville, Texas and Rachel Hollis of Chic Events based in Los Angeles, CA. Event planning and hospitality are two industries that our students have become very interested in lately. As two seasoned and successful entrepreneurs and veterans of the wedding and event industries, Luanna and Rachel brought lots of stories, wisdom, advice and encouraging words to our students.

Luanna and her husband, Norris, has been owner/operators of The Plantation House for 17 years, having hosted over 700 weddings, receptions and corporate events at their venue. Rachel begin Chic Events almost 8 years ago in her basement and has planned and styled weddings, corporate events and parties for various celebrities, motion picture studios, non-profit organizations and magazines. She was named one of  Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs in 2008.

Event Planning panel featuring Luanna Cole (L) and Rachel Hollis (Center)

We sat down with two students who attended the event. Calli is a sophomore journalism and mass communication major from Carrollton; Kelsey is a senior management major from San Angelo.

1) What’s one thing you learned (or that really stuck with you) about the business of wedding and/or event planning?
Calli: “One thing that really made an impact on me about the business of event planning was how much of your time you have to invest in order to be successful, therefore those with passion for the business will most likely be more motivated to devote themselves to their work.”
Kelsey: ” I found it interesting that a common misconception in regards to event planning is that it is a glamorous line of work. Hearing Rachel and Luanna talk about their experiences allowed all of the girls in the room to recognize that a great amount of time, energy, and hard work is placed into their event planning jobs. I enjoyed learning tactics that each of the women used to balance their careers and family lives. It was interesting to hear that from an early age, Luanna involved her children in the process of setting up events at their home. Her stories about her daughters ending their dates by inviting the guys over to help set up an event were quite comical. It was neat to see that each member of the family contributed in some way to ensure the success of their family owned business.”

Career Connect: Event Planning

2) Did you learn something that will change how you approach the rest of your time here at ACU or has encouraged to try something you wouldn’t have otherwise?
Calli: “Yes. I learned that I want to attain as much experience in the field as possible before I graduate so that I feel prepared for the “real world”.
Kelsey: “I was encouraged to dream big just as Rachel and Luanna did, but to realize that with big dreams comes great responsibility and time commitments. Pursuing a career that you are passionate about has many phenomenal rewards but comes with a lot of hard work.”

Luanna Cole shares with ACU students interested in event planning

3) Did these events encourage you to pursue this career track? If so, how?
Calli: “I definitely want to get more hands on experience. Both Rachel and Luanna encouraged us to work in all sides of the field such as the florists, rental companies, caterers, photographers, etc.”
Kelsey: “I am not drawn to this particular career track, but I feel like the speakers gave great advice that can be carried over into any future career.”

Rachel Hollis sharing with ACU students

4) How does hearing from industry professionals (no matter the industry) enhance what you are learning in the classroom?
Calli: “I have never really heard experience first hand like this so I was incredibly inspired to hear what they had to say. It affirmed every idea i had about the field and reassured that this is exactly what I want to do with my life.”
Kelsey: “Hearing real life experiences straight from a successful business person, enables us (students) to learn far more about a specific industry and/or valuable life lessons that could not be communicated as effectively from a textbook or lecture. One of my favorite parts about listening to the “powerful” speakers that ACU brings to campus, is hearing how the individual overcame a variety of failures and conflicts to get to where they are today. The wisdom that we receive through hearing about other’s past failures gives us the opportunity to avoid making the same mistakes and the ability to put into practice the tactics that the speaker has found to be the most effective. We are encouraged to live humbly just as the speakers do. It seems like usually one of the main differences that sets ACU speakers apart from other successful career people is the fact that the speakers we listen to are so down to earth and exhibit humility as they share their stories with us.”

Busy start to the fall semester

by   |  09.22.11  |  Uncategorized

We’re about a month into the fall semester and we have been busy here in COBA.

Here’s a brief update of what’s been going on:

Guest Speakers
– Luanna Cole from The Plantation House and Rachel Hollis of Chic Events {Career Connect: Event Planning}
– Chad Baker from Jones Lang LaSalle {Career Connect: Commercial Real Estate}
– Shannon Wilburn, founder of  “Just Between Friends” consignment business  {Women in Business and Intro to Business classes}
– Paul Sprague of The Warwick Group, Inc {Griggs Center’s Entrepreneur Forum}

– The first annual Business Mixer – hosted by AMA; opportunity for all students to join a COBA student organization
– Our first ever Elevator Pitch Competition is underway. Students have submitted a business plan ‘pitch’ for a chance to win $1500 cash in a live ‘pitch off’ final round during the first week of October.
– Two Career Connect events: Event Planning and Commercial Real Estate

– Research done by Dr. Ian Shepherd and Dr. Brent Reeves using the ipads in the classroom has been featured in publications around the world and nation. Most recently, a report he contributed to was featured on KEYE News in Austin, TX as well as the news stations here in town. For more information about the research and the awards they’ve won, read this.
– Dr. Rick Lytle’s Consumer Behavior class was featured on local news outlets earlier this week for a research project they did based on Texaco’s “5 Point Service” check. Read more about what they learned here.

Upcoming Events
– Jump Start information sessions: Required for Juniors and Seniors in order to receive their advising code. Juniors will receive more information and training on internship search and prep and Seniors will receive more information on job search and interview prep.
– A group of approximately 20 students as well as faculty will travel to New York City over Fall Break to visit Wall Street and the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson and Tommy Hilfiger.
– Leadership Summit applications are now available in the Dean’s Suite and the Connections Office. An interest meeting will take place next Wednesday, 11am, in COBA rm. 301.
– Venture Out teams (project in Intro. to Business) will be selecting their products to sell and pitching these products to the Venture Out board starting at the end of next week.  

If you are a parent of a current student, find out what events in which your student has participated or what speakers they have heard from. Please continue to encourage them to join in on all of the things that are happening in COBA. If you are the parent of a prospective student (or you are a prospective student), please feel free to send an email to to find out more information or schedule a time to come see us. 

We are truly blessed with a great community of students, faculty, staff, friends, alumni and prospective employers.



Wildcats at Cowboys Stadium: Cheering on our business majors

by   |  09.16.11  |  College Decisions, Current Students

We hope you are planning on heading to Cowboys Stadium tomorrow at about 4pm to watch the #3 ACU Wildcats take on the #4 North Alabama Lions, in what is sure to be a scrappy cat fight (Get it? Wildcats vs. Lions?).

Join us in rooting for these business majors who will be suiting up on Saturday:

  • Ronald Gaudin (Acct.) – WR
  • Morgan Lineberry (Acct.) – PK
  • Ryan Owens (Acct.) – PK
  • Taylor Gabriel (IT) – WR
  • Justin Andrews (MGMT) – FB
  • Brandon Dornak (MGMT) – DE
  • Paul Ellis (MGMT) – OL
  • Alexander Fussell (MGMT) – OL
  • David Guinn (MGMT) – LB
  • Logan Hoppenrath (MGMT) – OL
  • Juan Hull (MGMT) – DL
  • Ben Hynds (MGMT) – P
  • Samuel Kelley (MGMT) – WR
  • Jordan Lightfoot (MGMT) – DL
  • LB Suggs (MGMT) – LB
  • Daniel Talavera (MGMT) – FB
  • Neal Tivis (MGMT) – OL
  • Matthew Webber (MGMT) – OL
  • Connor Keeton (MKTG) – OL
  • Austin Kessler (MKTG) – WR
  • Luke Luttrell (MKTG) – QB
  • Hunter McAnally (MKTG) – OL
  • Ashton Thomas (MKTG) – DL

We are excited to watch these student athletes perform on the field tomorrow. And we are excited they have chosen to join our team in the College of Business Administration as we teach them, train them, pray for them and prepare them for their life off the field.

See you at the game!


COBA Alum Stites elected to Nashville City Council

by   |  09.15.11  |  COBA Alumni, Uncategorized

We’re pleased to report that Josh Stites (’03, BBA in Management) has been elected to serve on the Nashville City Council, representing District 13. You can go here to read our profile about Stites from earlier this year. We couldn’t be more proud of Josh and look forward to seeing the ways God will use him to bless and serve the people of Nashville through this new position.

Newly elected Councilman Josh Stites

Internship Insight: My experience with FC Dallas

by   |  09.09.11  |  Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Internships

Aaron is a sophomore marketing major from Burleson. He came to ACU interested in pursing a career in sports management or sports marketing. After attending a job fair in Dallas centered around the corporate side of sports, Aaron made connections with the front office of FC Dallas. He accepted the unpaid internship because he was excited about the opportunity and experience and knew it would be a great resume builder. We’ve asked Aaron to share about his summer internship experience with us:

Every experience gained throughout this internship was a vital building block in my understanding of life, business, and personal goals. This thirteen-week experience of trials, setbacks, and successes was a much-needed real world encounter.  I came into this internship with expectations of what a professional soccer team would be like, and I was very please with what I found.

Aaron at Cowboy Stadium for an FC Dallas game

The business side is completely different from the game played on the field. These two sides have to work together in order to compete well against other teams and stay profitable and sustainable. FC Dallas has the one of the most consistent organizations in the MLS with numbers to back it up. They’re growing in popularity every year, and are consistently staying competitive. These are great signs for what the future holds for the game here in the United States of America.

When I first interviewed for the Team Administrative & Player Personnel Intern position, I wanted to make it clear that I wanted to learn the business of sports. Wherever they were going to put me, I was going to soak up as much information as possible through this experience. Come to find out when I started I was given just what I was asking for. My position gave me the ability to work and help with the team at practices and games.

FC Dallas at Cowboys Stadium

I also worked in the corporate office dealing with scouting databases, budgets, and logistics for the Team Administration and players to which it gave me the other perspective. Both sides of the puzzle were at my grasp to learn from multiple supervisors that were either directors, managers, or coaches. All of which have amazing stories that helped with me understanding more insights in today’s complex sports niche. I am extremely thankful for the trust that they gave in me with passing sensitive information in order for me to learn.

Time was my only downfall to this experience with which I wanted more time to be a part of this great organization. These thirteen weeks flew by with so many different scenarios that I was able to learn from for future successes. The projects given to me to be responsible for at FC Dallas were great challenges for me to start, but now the projects must be passed to the next intern for furthering them in benefiting the company.  There is still much to learn about this sport and how things are done, but I have a feeling it wont be my last time in this related field. I thank God for my opportunity with FC Dallas, and I hope that I made a lasting impression.

What exactly does a ‘Christian’ business school look like?

by   |  09.08.11  |  COBA Events, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion

From Dr. Don Pope, chair, Department of Management Sciences:

A Christian Business School

Students and parents choose a university based on several possible criteria.  For those students majoring in business at ACU, some possible reasons would include our faculty – undergraduate courses taught, not by graduate assistants, but by faculty who are qualified both academically and by business experience.  Our accreditation with AACSB places us in the select category of the best business schools in the world.   Our size – ACU is large enough to offer a broad range of quality programs in excellent facilities, but small enough that our students are not lost in the crowds of larger schools.  And for students selecting ACU, an extremely significant difference at our College of Business Administration is the integration of Christian faith and learning.

To some people, the words “Christian” and “business” sit uncomfortably in the same sentence.  The word business is sometimes taken to mean self-serving and self-seeking at the expense of others – just the opposite of the others-first philosophy taught by Christ.  And then you throw in the word “school”, then what does that all mean?  

To the faculty and staff at the College of Business Administration at ACU, a Christian business school means the integration of faith and learning in ways that are lived out and not just talked about.  In the classroom, it might involve a discussion of ethics or prayerful concern for a student.  Beyond the classroom, it involves living out our faith in the market place, whether in towering office buildings in cities or with people living in poverty, anywhere in the world.  Our faculty and students build homes and help feed the hungry in garbage dumps in Honduras, provide medical care for people in the remote areas of Zambia, establish and support orphanages in India and Ghana, volunteer for Meals on Wheels, assist the elderly with tax preparation, and countless other acts of service.

Our mission is great – to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.  Our faculty and staff are capable to that challenge.  Our students dream big dreams.  Come join us in this journey together.

Faculty members praying over the newest inductees of Beta Gamma Sigma


Faculty praying over graduating seniors at our annual Senior Blessing lunch


SIFE students and two business profs help teach kids about money

by   |  09.04.11  |  COBA Events, City of Abilene, College Decisions, Current Students

ACU’s chapter of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE – a national organization formed by Sam Walton) does several projects with and for the community, using their business skills and knowledge to serve others. One project they do each year is with the elementary students over at Abilene Christian Schools. They set up a ‘little town’ in their school gym, with a bank, retail stores, a grocery store among others. Each student has a chance to earn a specific amount of money, and then they can turn around and either spend the money or save it at the bank – all under the guidance and teaching of our SIFE students and two business professors, Dr. Jinkerson and Dr. Vardiman.

The Abilene Reporter News recently did a story on teaching kids the value of money, and featured our SIFE team and professors. Click here for the full story. We’re proud of  Dr. Jinkerson and Dr. Vardiman and the good work they are doing with our students!