Northwood University Collegiate DECA Takes on #CDECAICDC in Anaheim, CA

DECA team photo in professional attireOver the past year, Northwood University’s Collegiate DECA chapter made an impressive impact on their competition journey.  This journey began in February with 30 students competing in Grand Rapids, MI at the State Career Development Conference. In April, 13 students had the incredible opportunity to travel to Anaheim, California to compete at the Collegiate International Career Development Conference.  Our members were extremely grateful for the McIntyre Entrepreneurship Experience for sponsoring this trip.

The Collegiate International Career Development Conference gives members the opportunity to grow personally and professionally by focusing on leadership development, community involvement and competitive events. While attending the conference, our members took advantage of the amazing networking opportunities, various competitions, and exploring Anaheim.DECA Members with their awards

During opening session, Northwood University had five students who were recognized for their impressive leadership within the chapter over the year.  The Leadership Passport Program recognized members who excelled at building personal and professional skills around competence, innovation, integrity and teamwork.  Allison Brown, Taryn Cornman, Ashley Hendley, Amanda Schmidt and Joseph Walsh received this award.

Allison Brown, Ashley Hendley and Samantha Paul were selected to serve on the #CDECAICDC Social Media Team.  These three members stayed active on their social media accounts throughout the conference to share with members active updates on the conference and their experiences.  They also wrote multiple articles for DECA Direct that were published throughout the conference.  These articles varied on topics from their competitions, networking opportunities, exploring Anaheim, keynote speakers and multiple other things that they experienced throughout the conference.

DECA members working on a group projectAs emerging leaders, our members took advantage of the Leadership Training that was offered at the conference. This training provided members with materials to grow their DECA experiences and provided them with resources to bring back to the chapter.  They worked on team building, communication, networking, and various leadership concepts.

Taryn Cornman was nominated and ran for Executive Office for Collegiate DECA.  Her campaign was supported by multiple chapter members and allowed them to network with different members throughout the organization.DECA Team Member Taryn behind her campaign table

The 13 outstanding competitors were given the opportunity to take what they have learned at Northwood University and apply it into their perspective competitions.  Their competitive events varied from business simulations to prepared business plans that were judged by real-world professionals.  Collegiate DECA provides competitors with a competitive atmosphere with emerging professionals so they can test their current knowledge in the their prospective business industries. They had the opportunity to compete with over 1,500 other collegians from around the globe.Four DECA team members holding up medals

Northwood University’s Collegiate DECA chapter is proud to recognize that we had 5 finalists after the first round of competition.  These competitors were Anna Geneseo, Nicholas Krett, Amanda Schmidt, Michael Shaddock and Joseph Walsh.  After the second round of competition we had four students who made top ten in their events!  Anna Geneseo and Amanda Schmidt competed together and placed top ten in Business Research were they focused discovered and presented new findings and strategies for improvements to Barnes and Noble.  Nicholas Krett placed top ten in Entrepreneurship Growing a Business where he wrote a report and presenting his ideas on how to grow his car detailing business. Joseph Walsh was also recognized as a top ten qualifier in Emerging Technology Marketing Strategies where he designed a product using emerging technology solutions.

Our chapter adviser, John Gustincic, was also asked to present to the Collegiate DECA Advisers at the Adviser Professional Development Forum.  His presentation was focused on “Building Bridges Between High School and Collegiate DECA.”  After his successful presentation at this conference, he was asked to present at DECA Amped in June.

Overall, our members had an amazing experience and are grateful for the support they got that made the trip possible!  Our members owned their future and are already to head to Washington D.C. in April 2018!

DECA Team Members Group Photo


5th Annual Sports and Entertainment Symposium

5th Annual Entertainment and Sports Management SymposiumComing up this Friday, April 28 is the 5th Annual Sports and Entertainment Symposium at Northwood University. This symposium is to educate anyone interested in working in entertainment or sports on the current trends of the sports and entertainment industries while also giving them time to network and create lifelong relationships with sports and entertainment professionals.

College and high school students, along with young professionals, will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions with panels of professionals with topics such as “Breaking Into the Industry,” “Women in Sports,” and “Life in the Entertainment Industry.”

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased until Thursday, April 27 at midnight. You do not want to miss this opportunity to interact with professionals in the field including Paul Bee, Director of Sales for the Detroit Red Wings, Josh Reasoner, Team Sales Manager at Adidas, Mark Zimmerman , General Manager at Georgia World Congress Center, Mike Guswiler, President of West Micigan Sports Commission, and so many more!

A full listing of speakers, companies, and breakout sessions, as well as registration information can be found here!


Meet Your TLC Tutor, Grace!

Grace GermanName: Grace German

How long have you been a TLC tutor: First Year

Major: International Business Management

Home town: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Year in School: Sophomore

Dream Job: Not for Profit International Company

Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?

Yes, I am on the women’s basketball team here at Northwood University.

Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?

I feel being a tutor has been a huge help to me.  I enjoy helping others and as a peer tutor I get the opportunity to both learn and teach others!

Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?

Absolutely! It is a great working environment and has very flexible hours, which fits perfectly with my school and basketball schedules.

“Grace is a tireless worker and a very motivated player for us.  She always has her priorities in order and attacks each day with an outstanding attitude.  She is progressively emerging as one of our best leaders on the team.”

-Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Jeff Curtis


Meet TLC Tutor, Zakiya!

Name: Zakiya Wells

How long have you been a TLC tutor: First Year

Major: Accounting

Home town: Ypsilanti, Michigan

Year in School: Sophomore

Dream Job: Certified Public Accountant

TLC: Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?
You: Yes, I am on the women’s basketball team here at Northwood University.

TLC: Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?
You: I feel being a tutor has been very beneficial to me. I really love helping others. In addition, to see them progress over time is very rewarding.

TLC: Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?
You: Yes! It is an extremely welcoming environment. You get to touch the lives of others and get your homework accomplished as well!

TLC: “Z is one of the toughest competitors on our team. She may be small in stature, but she plays with an edge that truly makes our team go. On top of what she can do on the court, Zakiya is a class act and great student. She truly exemplifies the definition of student-athlete.”

-Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Jeff Curtis


Northwood Seniors Take 2nd Place in AMA Marketing Strategy Competition

Sarah Novak and Taylor DarbyTwo Northwood Seniors recently took 2nd place in a Marketing Strategy Competition at The American Marketing Association’s recent Intercollegiate Conference in New Orleans, LA. Sarah Novak and myself, Taylor Darby, traveled to the conference with three other Northwood students to receive an award for AMA’s 2016 Case Study which the group completed last fall, but we were shocked when we came back with an additional trophy. Both Sarah and I are graduating from Northwood in May, but plan to return in the fall to attend the DeVos Graduate School of Management. Prior to leaving for the trip, the students traveling decided that Sarah and I would be the ones to represent the chapter in an additional competition that was held live at the conference. On Friday, March 17th we reported to our competition information session at 9 A.M. and felt somewhat out of place upon walking into the room as we were both in business professional attire and many of the other contestants were not. We were instantly relieved and thankful to Northwood for teaching us appropriate attire for presentations when the advisor running the competition told everyone that those without business professional attire on would need to change before their time slot.

“I joined AMA after Sarah asked if I would help with the writing portion of the case study. I was not prepared for the numerous opportunities that the club would bring and feel that this club has prepared me for the real world!  –Taylor Darby, Senior

The first round of the competition consisted of 21 minutes to create a marketing strategy for a company, seven minutes to present the strategy to a panel of three judges, and then three minutes to answer two questions from the judges. After completing the first round Sarah and I felt great about our presentation and became anxious to hear the results later that night. It seemed like it took forever for 6 o’clock to come, but the entire Northwood crew attended the closing event for the day where various awards were given out. It wasn’t until the end of the night that AMA announced that out of 98 teams only 16 would move onto the semi-finals.Marketing Strategy Competition Semi-Finals List

There it was among some of the largest, most prestigious Universities in the nation… Northwood University! It didn’t take long before Sarah and I became set on winning the competition no matter what credentials and experience we may or may not have had. The next morning, we reported to another instructional session, but now with only 14 other school teams present. The task was the same only with a new panel of judges, after which we were to report back to see if our team made it into the finals.

Marketing Strategy Competition Finals ListOnce again we were amazed to find our team in the top six! Similar to the first two rounds we had 21 minutes to prepare a marketing strategy, seven minutes to present, and three minutes for questions only this time there were six judges. Once we finished we were finally able to breathe except for the fact that we had to wait until the award ceremony to find out the results.

The awards were given out at the very end of the evening so by the time the Marketing Strategy Competition came on the screen, Sarah and I were both on the edge of our seats. Out of the six teams that competed in the finals AMA presented 1st through 5th place winners. Winners began to be announced and as 5th, 4th, and 3rd place passed, we got nervous because either we did really well or we were the 6th place team who would receive nothing. Beside Sarah and myself, I don’t think that anyone was more surprised and more delighted than Northwood AMA’s chapter advisor, Dr. Hosein, as this was the first time Northwood students have won an award for competing in a live event.

            “This year AMA has given me some of the best hands-on experience in marketing and leadership that I have had during my Northwood career; from running the case study to competing in the marketing strategy competition, I have gained invaluable knowledge and experience.” –Sarah Novak

Sarah Novak and Taylor Darby with their awardSarah and I are both thankful to Northwood for preparing us as students to handle anything thrown our way and to Dr. Hosein who provided us the opportunity to compete for our chapter. We strongly encourage other students to take full advantage of the organizations that Northwood has to offer, especially AMA because no matter your expertise or background you have talents to bring to the team. NU AMA meets on Thursdays at 5 PM in Sloan 109 and is beginning to work on the 2017 Case Study so if you want to gain valuable experience doing real-life marketing tasks come check out the group!


AMA Group at Northwood University




Automotive Aftermarket Major Turns Connections into a Career

Samantha (center) during her internship with GM.

Samantha (center) during her internship with GM.

What is your major?

Automotive Aftermarket.

What student organizations are you involved with on campus?

I was a member of the women’s varsity soccer team for all four of my years at Northwood University. I was the goalie and I am glad that that was an experience I was able to enjoy.

Tell us a little bit about the internship you participated in.

For the past two summers I interned at General Motors Customer Care & Aftersales in Grand Blanc. The first summer I was on the digital marketing team. My summer was spent researching tires and GM’s position in tire sales. I looked at usability of competitors website against the GM website, as well as the prices. The second summer I worked on the Accessories Team. My project was about cleaning out a warehouse. There were millions of dollars clustered in a warehouse and it was my responsibility to figure out what needed to be promoted and sold and what needed to be scraped. I also started to develop a website for other GM countries that could sell the parts that we wanted to scrape. It was in the early stages when I left, but hopefully it has become beneficial. Both teams spent time introducing me to important people and exposing me to different parts of the business. They didn’t treat me like an intern, they treated me like an equal.

How did you get involved with this opportunity?

One of my dad’s friends works for GM and told me about the internship program. He told me who to contact and I had an interview and they wanted to bring me on board.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

The most important part is to network and meet new people. My team took me to countless meetings with bigwigs who could remember me down the road. Also, go to as many meetings and opportunities that present themselves. I sat in on as many meetings as I could and I learned information about a multitude of different aspects of the business. My advice is just to learn as much as you can because you never know what is going to come in handy down the road.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

At the end of my internship the Accessories Team offered me a position to join them full time in June of 2017 and I accepted. Since this is a team I have already worked on, I understand a lot of the dynamics behind the way things work and how teams interact with other teams. This deeper understanding will allow me to be more efficient at my job from the beginning instead of taking months to figure out the basics. Also, this experience will help me down the road if I join other companies or shift around inside the company because I will have knowledge of how this industry works.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?

Everyone always talks about real world experience and getting out into the real world. It sounds like a way to scare you into an internship, but they have a point. You never really know what to expect until you get out there and see what your field entails. You are never really ready for the work world, but having an internship is a chance to peak into what it’s really like and dip your toes into the water instead of getting thrown into the deep end. I think it will make the transition into full time work smoother than if I didn’t have an internship.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

I think the highlight of my first summer was going to the facility where the Copo Camaro is built. Myself and another intern spent a Friday morning touring the facility where Copo Camaros were built and we got to see someone pick their vehicle up and drive it for the first time. My second summer, the Chevrolet Grand Prix on Belle Isle is one of GM’s crown jewels and they put together a tent for all of the interns. We spent the day watching the races, walking around to see all of the pit crews and it was an awesome day. It exposed me to the racing side of GM that I wasn’t particularly familiar with.

 Anything else we should know about this experience?

Through my internships I was exposed to multiple opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I met people that could potentially help me down the road if I need assistance and I look forward to seeing what General Motors has in store for my future.


Meet TLC Tutor, Amel!

Name: Amel Ljaljic

How long have you been a TLC tutor: First Year

Major: International Business/Management

Home town: Celic, Bosnia

Year in School: Junior

Dream Job: Owner of multiple sport teams

TLC: Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?
You: School keeps me pretty busy. However, in addition to being a tutor, I am also heavily involved in coaching soccer. I coach ages 8-18 and am in charge of training curriculum development for the club I work with. In the summer, I often coach four or more teams!

TLC: Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?
You: It has most certainly been beneficial! The experience I’ve had as a tutor can only help me in my future jobs because teaching and coaching are one in the same.

TLC: Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?
You: I would definitely recommend working at the TLC! Helping fellow students is very rewarding!

TLC: “If it was not for Amel, almost every class session would have been much less productive. He asked important and provocative questions that led to much more discussion and free engagement with the assigned reading. His leadership demonstrated that real learning begins with the students and not with the professor. I was very thankful to have him in class” – Professor Glenn Moots


St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn

What is your club?

St. Jude Up ’til Dawn is a student-led organization that raises awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every year we encourage students to sign up on teams and they individually have to raise a minimum of $100 to attend an all night event. At the all-night event, the teams compete in various games, win prizes, and overall celebrate the funds raised for the hospital. We stay up all night for the kids and families at St. Jude Children’s Hospital that lose many nights of sleep from childhood cancer.

What is the purpose of this organization?

The purpose is to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

How long has this organization been with Northwood?

I believe about 5 years.

What days are your meetings?

There are no weekly meetings for students who sign up to be an Up ’til Dawn Participant. However, throughout the year, we hold different events to inform kids about the program and help them with their fundraising. E-board members of Up ’til Dawn meet weekly.

Do you do any volunteer work?

Participating in St. Jude Up ’til Dawn is considered volunteer work, and it is a great resume builder. Students that participate also receive excel credit.

What kind of events does this organization attend?

The E-board holds and plans their own event every year for the participants who have raised a minimum of $100.

Anything else you would like to add?

St. Jude Up ’til Dawn is a great program and not a huge time commitment. Students have all year to raise the $100 which is very easy to do. It is so much fun, and it is a great way to make a difference.


What’s It Like to Intern with the NBA? This Northwood Senior Shares His Story

Northwood senior Tyler Makins spent his summer interning while surrounded by some of the most important people in the NBA. Here, he shares a little bit about himself, his experience, and what it was like to work with big names while keeping a cool head.

Tyler Makins during is NBA Summer League internship.

Tyler Makins (second from right) during is NBA Summer League internship.

What is your major?

I dual major in Marketing and Sports Management, graduating this spring.

What student organizations are you involved with on campus?

I’ve been a member of both the Sports Management Association at Northwood and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Chapter here since my sophomore year, taking an active role in each organization.

How did you get involved with this opportunity?

I got involved with the NBA Summer League through our former Sports Management Department Chair at Northwood, Dr. Preston James IV. In the spring of 2015, he told me about an opportunity to attend a conference at the Summer League that year called the Sports Business Classroom (SBC). The SBC featured speakers who were already professionals in the NBA (head coaches, scouts, general managers, ESPN personalities, broadcasters, etc.) that taught sessions that related to their field. Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle came and spoke to us about coaching, Portland Trailblazers General Manager Neil Olshey came and spoke about player evaluation and working your way from the bottom of the industry to the top. It was just super interesting to get an inside look at the NBA, something I had been dreaming of for years. At the end of the conference, the staff leaders chose 5 people (there was around 50 attendees total) to return the next summer to serve as interns for the actual Summer League. I was lucky enough to be one of those 5 selected, so I was able to come back this past summer in a bigger role.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

During the two years that I’ve spent with the NBA Summer League, I’ve learned so much, it’s hard to narrow it down to a few things. If I had to, I’d say that being a star in your role is very important. My goal was to get to know everyone who I was interning with, and to volunteer for any and every job or task that needed to get done. It’s so important to stick out, and being friendly and working hard and efficiently at least gets you on the way. It’s also important to ask questions and learn. Don’t be afraid to fail, but you have to learn from the failures and improve yourself and those around you.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

Using this experience down the road in my career, I think the biggest thing that will help me is learning how to communicate with and be around big NBA names. The Summer League has grown so much since its inception. They had 23 NBA teams plus the NBA D-League send teams to Las Vegas (where the Summer League takes place) to compete this past year. Each team also sends coaches, scouts, and other personnel to watch the games and evaluate talent. The Summer League is essentially a big NBA tryout for the players, coaches, and referees there, who are trying to show that they can perform at an NBA level. So you see head coaches, general managers, and everyone else you could think of. I even had the opportunity to meet the Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver. The point is that there is a lot of big personnel there, so it’s important to keep a cool head and remember that they’re people too and they probably either want to be left alone or to talk basketball, so you have to walk a fine line. My strategy was to get to know media members, because they’re more open to communication and may be a little easier to approach – they still have the contacts though, so they’re good people to become friendly with. When they say it’s who you know, not necessarily what you know, I can’t endorse that enough.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?

It’s important to do these things while you’re still in school because it’s just that much more extra preparation for when you get out into the real world. My experience as an intern at the Summer League will mostly likely mirror whatever it is I’ll be doing in my first job with player/team operations, so now I know what will be expected of me and the level that it’s necessary to work at in order to be successful. It also doesn’t hurt to have a name like “NBA Summer League” on my resume. It’s just crucial to gain as much experience as possible, that’s always been my philosophy.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

It’s really hard to narrow down the list of highlights during this time for me. Obviously just getting to know the other interns was great. There was around 75 employees, with at least half being new to the staff this season like myself, and they came from all over the world, so it was just really interesting hearing everyone’s back story and the things they’ve done. A lot of them had experience working with teams and in the league already or were related to someone working in the league, so it was cool to hear some of the stories they had. I also just really enjoyed being in an environment that centered around the NBA for two straight weeks. Okay sure, being in Las Vegas for that time was fun, but if that time didn’t center around 12-16 hours of basketball everyday, I don’t think I’d have had as much fun. It was also an extreme honor to be selected as the “Rookie of the Year” intern at our wrap-up banquet. Like I said, working out there was a dream come true, so to be selected to receive that award was really something special and it only further cemented the fact that I knew this is where I wanted to be and what I wanted to spend my life doing.

Anything else we should know about this experience?

Just to give everything some context, I’ll explain what the Summer League is and what our role as interns was. The Summer League is essentially a tournament between the rosters of prospective players that NBA teams have organized. Their team would consist of the 12-15 players that stand the best chance of filling out their actual regular season roster. So it’s really a big tryout for the players to show what they can do against near-NBA level opponents. That’s why you see scouts and coaches from the NBA, the D-League, and teams that are overseas. The teams play a round robin style and then there is a bracketed tournament, seeded based on the teams performance in round robin, leading to the crowing of the Summer League champion in the last game. As a game operations intern, we were responsible for running stats to team officials, delivering game film to teams and referees, setting up and monitoring all of our fan interaction games around the arena, and handling basically anything and everything operations-wise or fulfilling the needs of the team and ensuring a first-class experience for everyone in attendance. It was crazy to work so closely with NBA personnel, but it was an opportunity that I’m grateful for and will never forget.


Meet TLC Tutor, Sarah!

Name: Sarah Alspaugh

How long have you been a TLC Tutor: First year

Major: Accounting Major in the Accelerated BBA/MBA program

Home town: Hastings, Michigan

Year in School: Senior

Dream Job: My dream job is either to be an audit partner in a CPA firm or work for the FBI as a Forensic Accountant.

TLC: Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?

You: In addition to being a tutor, I am also heavily involved with campus life. I am the CFO for the 2017 Northwood University International Auto Show. Also, I am the secretary for the Honorary Accounting Society of NU (HASNU) and participate in Business Professionals of America and Student United Way.

TLC: Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?

You: Being a tutor has been unequivocally beneficial to me! By helping other to understand concepts, I have been given the opportunity to not only refresh my understanding of the concepts, but also cement my knowledge.

TLC: Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?

You: I would definitely recommend working at the TLC! We have flexible hours, and it’s great to know you are making a positive impact on the education of your peers!

TLC: Sarah hit the ground running in her first semester at the TLC. She won the prize for most students tutored during our drop in hours this past fall! Fortunately for us, she plans to continue to tutor at the TLC while pursuing her MBA.