Category Archives: Graduate Student

Walton MBA and Henkel Partner on Sustainability Course Project

IMG_1234 The M.B.A. program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas has joined with Henkel, the company behind well-known brands such as Dial soap, Purex laundry detergent and Loctite adhesive, to offer experiential learning opportunities for students.

The latest partnership revolved around Professor Vikas Anand’s spring-semester course Partnering Project. The course, which enrolls both M.B.A. and honors upper-level undergraduate students, provides the opportunity for academic application of sustainability to a manufacturing company’s real marketing goals.

IMG_1259The course concentrates on market research and consumer behavior analysis with regards to sustainability and on marketing plan development. The first is to determine sustainable products’ impact on shoppers’ habits and the second focuses on how to market to sustainable customers.

Henkel executives were involved in the course from the beginning of the semester, including initial presentations to students about the business challenge. They also served as mentors to student teams as they researched and developed business solutions and as judges as students competed to present insightful consumer research.

IMG_1266Last week, student teams engaged in a final round of friendly competition to present their research on consumer trends in sustainability. Using their findings, they made recommendations geared towards Henkel’s categories – Laundry & Home Care, Personal Care and Adhesives. Representatives from Henkel, Walmart, The Sustainability Consortium and the Walton faculty were on campus April 29 to judge the competition.

IMG_2620“Henkel has been a global leading innovator in developing sustainable products for many decades,” said Brent Horn, Henkel’s vice president of sales responsible for the global business development at Walmart. “Sustainability is one of our company’s five core values, and every new product is required to contribute positively to our sustainability strategy. Since 2007, we have gained invaluable consumer and product insights by partnering with the Walton College and The Sustainability Consortium at University of Arkansas. As a reult, we are launching new products that directly improve the sustainability metrics in our retail customers’ stores.”

The course united guest speakers from a range of businesses in the area that incorporate sustainable principles into their business strategies and that are familiar with consumer trends. Guest speakers included Rand Waddoups, senior director for Home & Office Electronics at Walmart; Angelo Welihindha, heaIMG_2627d of Hardware Sales at Google, Inc.; Julianne Brown, senior manager for Merchant Development at Walmart; Andrew Tucker, senior director for New Business Development at Nickelodeon; Soner Senlikci, vice president-Walmart at ShurTech Brands, LLC, and several others.

The application of the research students took on for this course could have far reaching applicability, as will the continuing partnership between Henkel and the Walton M.B.A. program to provide quality, hands-on project based learning experieIMG_2635nces for Walton College students as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Plans are for the course to be offered every spring. Contact Meredith McKee, assistant M.B.A. director, at mmckee@walton.uark.edu or 479-575-3480 for more information.

Walton MBA Students Compete at SEC Case Competition

Four students from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas competed in the third Southeastern Conference M.B.A. Case Competition.

The competition was held April 9-11 at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.

Student teams representing each of the 14 SEC universities competed to analyze case information about a mining company implementing a sustainable community development initiative in a small village in Zambia, Africa.

The Walton College team was made up of three second-year M.B.A. students, Kenny Bierman, Qinghai Sun and Kristen Raney, and one first-year M.B.A. student, Jenny Glover. The team’s faculty adviser was professor Vikas Anand. The team was edged out in the first division by University of Kentucky, which finished second overall in the competition.

Walton College will host the SEC MBA Case Competition in April 2016.

The SEC MBA Case Competition is one of the enterprises of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. In 2013 the inaugural competition was held at the University of Missouri, and in 2014 the University of Alabama hosted the conference.

The 14 teams were divided into four divisions on Friday morning immediately after which the case was released. The teams had 24 hours to develop strategies and presentations, submitting final presentations by 7 a.m. Saturday. Saturday morning began with divisional rounds, with Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana State University and South Carolina advancing to the finals. Only one team advances from each division.

In this year’s competition, Florida again took first place – repeating its wins from 2013 and 2014. LSU finished fourth overall and South Carolina finished in third.

Information about this year’s SEC MBA Case Competition, including the schedule, results from divisional and final competitions, photos, and recordings of the team presentations can be found on the website of the Moore School of Business.

Contact the Graduate School of Business for more information on the 2016 competition at the University of Arkansas, or Bryan Welbourne, assistant director of SECU, at BWelbourne@sec.org or 205-949-8960 for more information about SECU.

Teams Compete in International Supply Chain Case Competition

The Supply Chain Management Research Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas hosted its 11th annual International Graduate Supply Chain Case Competition on March 5-7 at the John Q. Hammonds Center in Rogers. Continue reading Teams Compete in International Supply Chain Case Competition