Special feature highlighting successful businesses in the Birmingham area participating in the UAB Academic Small Business Alliance program. Introducing: Chris White, President & CEO, Lyons Computers & Technologies

How does the ASBA program benefit your company?

It’s beneficial in many ways.

It helps us to get a fresh insight of our organization by ensuring that the organizational structure of our company is aligning with the rapid business environmental changes occurring. The interns provide us with a fresh perspective on how to approach our goals and accomplish them in the most innovative and effective manner. This program allows students to come in our business and get real-world experience and insight on how a small business works. We are setting them up for the future, while they help our business. As one of the ASBA partners, I also have the opportunity to network and provide services to other DBE partners.

Did you and your intern experience growth while in the semester long program?

Yes! Being able to take interns and hear their opinions on how my business is running helps me ensure that my business is running well. I realized that certain things that I thought were going well were not. The growth factor was seeing the points they brought to the table about tasks we could do better, but that I had not considered. I include them in the decision making process within the company and immerse them in how my business works. There have been cases where we have implemented their ideas and delegated tasks to the interns to accomplish. They are doing well and are open to constructive feedback that will benefit their future careers. I have seen growth in our interns and I hope to see a lot more growth throughout the rest of the program.

Would you participate in the internship program again? Why?

Yes. It is a good program. I think the ASBA Business boot camp is helpful for effective business growth for small business owners. The boot camp is a holistic approach and impactful process that forces you to look at your business model at the beginning of the program and cross-check your progress at the end to check for growth. This is the right strategy to help the businesses and students create an impact. At the end of the day, I want to create a good experience and environment for our interns by helping them with their careers, write reference letters, and give them useful experiences. We have a good balance—I am helping them and they are helping us—it’s mutual.

Interns are Carmen Morris- Marketing Major and Roger Ian- Information Systems Major