project management tipsHave you ever dreamed of running a Broadway theater? Managing a lab, clinic or PR practice? Bringing an engineering marvel to market? Business classes provide that extra oomph to your resume that shows you’re ready to become a leader in your profession. Minors, certificates and elective courses provide knowledge and experience in social media strategies, entrepreneurship, management and more. Turn your passion into a career!

The Collat School of Business offers many courses that are open to all UAB students regardless of major. These courses have no business prerequisites. 

BH Hibbett SportsHibbett Sports CEO Jeffry Rosenthal and Chief Merchant Jared Briskin met with students in the combined undergraduate capstone and MBA class, “Strategic Leadership Through the Eyes of the C-Suite,” on October 27, 2015, to discuss their company’s strategy.

Mr. Rosenthal and Mr. Briskin described several key technology-based initiatives that are underway at the company including further development of digital marketing through social media and other channels, and refinement of a point-of-sale computer system. The POS system would allow sales associates to “convert” a customer who might not find exactly what they need in a store, but would be happy if the sales associate went online in the store and arranged for a product to be sent directly to the customer’s home.

By Matt Windsor 
As published in UAB The Mix,Tomorrow land: Engineering lab explores the future of tech, teaching 

mix bicep curlBy now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Fitbit, a digital-age pedometer that tracks your steps — and sleep patterns. You may well be wearing one yourself. Corey Shum, Director of UAB’s Enabling Technology Lab, is working with two local entrepreneurs, and the Engineering and Innovative Technology Development (EITD) group, to create a hyperaccurate Fitbit that doesn’t just watch you exercise — it makes sure you’re doing it right. It could also transform the process of rehabilitation after an injury.

Orthopedic surgeon Ken Jaffe, M.D., a 1982 graduate of the UAB School of Medicine and a former UAB faculty member now in private practice, was inspired by the high-tech motion-capture devices in the golf industry. “In the golf world, they have sensors you can put on your club to look at your club head speed and swing path,” Jaffe said. “I had the idea of using this technology for medical rehabilitation.” He also knew where to go for help turning the idea into reality. “I was introduced to some of the talent at UAB when I got my MBA” at the UAB Collat School of Business in 2003, Jaffe said. A former faculty member in the business school, Sanjay Singh, Ph.D., connected Jaffe and his business partner in the startup Management of Motion to Shum and the ETLab.

Regions IndustryWeekRegions Financial partnered with Collat Career Services during Collat’s Banking & Government Industry Week to host a visit on October 16th to their corporate headquarters in downtown Birmingham. Collat’s Banking & Government Industry Week also included a graduate school workshop, professional development workshop, and career expo for targeted companies.

For the visit, Regions invited 25 of Collat’s top finance, economics, accounting, marketing, and management students for the inaugural event. The day consisted of over 16 representatives from the Regions Financial Corporation to present on the following topics:

As a pharmaceutical company focused on finding drugs for rare diseases that can be commercially successful, BioCryst Corporation is a risky business, with a failure rate for commercialization of its drug discoveries of over 90%. On October 20, 2015, BioCryst CEO Jon Stonehouse told students in the combined MBA and undergraduate capstone class “Strategic leadership through the eyes of the C-Suite” that his company was living this brutal statistic three years ago when it concluded that further work on a drug it had spent years and millions of dollars on was likely futile.

BH BioCrystStonehouse said that he and his board of directors made the difficult decision in late 2012 to downsize the company by over half and then embark on an “experiment” to see if the remaining 30 employees could re-focus and be successful with one company asset, a rare disease drug to combat a debilitating disease that causes extreme swelling, called Hereditary Angioedema (HAE). CEO Stonehouse noted the experiment has thus far been successful, in no small part due to the fact that employees are motivated by the desire to help the 70,000-350,000 people worldwide who suffer from HAE.

By Gail Allyn Short • Photos by Steve Wood
As published in UAB Magazine, Fall 2015

Innovation startmeup 452 optOn the popular television show Shark Tank, budding business owners pitch ideas to investors who could make or break their futures. Anxiety runs high. Tough questions must be answered. Dreams could live or die.

Now imagine doing that in college. UAB students are willingly facing—and winning—a Shark Tank-style challenge with a tantalizing prize: the opportunity to launch their own start-ups before they graduate. The competition is part of UAB’s strengthened emphasis on teaching entrepreneurship—providing students with knowledge, experience, and inspiration to develop and operate a new company or commercialize a novel invention.

One of the best analogies for describing business entrepreneurs is the Explorer-Pioneer-Settler archetype:

  • Explorers are the first ones in a new territory (think the unknown person who first assembled a desktop computer).
  • Pioneers are the ones who clear the land and first try to actually live in the territory (think Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and Apple computers).
  • Settlers are the people who move in, plant the crops, and live there long-term (the people in the PC industry today).

BH ServisFirstTom Broughton, Chief Executive Officer of ServisFirst Bank, recently told students in the combined MBA and undergraduate capstone class “Strategic leadership through the eyes of the C-Suite” that he wants Pioneers in his company who embrace the idea of growth. Broughton made a return visit to the Collat School of Business on October 13, 2015. 

Broughton is himself a two-time Pioneer. At the age of 29, he founded First Commercial Bank. That bank was acquired by Synovus Bank in 1992, and Mr. Broughton remained with that organization in steadily more senior management positions until leaving to create ServisFirst in 2005. In just ten years, ServisFirst expects to have $5 billion in assets by year-end 2015, operating in key metropolitan areas of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and South Carolina. It is one of the most profitable community banks in the country.  

NSN 350For the past three years, the Collat Career Services Office has been partnering with the National Sales Network to attend their professional/student conferences to expose our business students to top tier companies that want to hire our marketing and Industrial Distribution students.

The National Sales Network (NSN) is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit membership organization whose objective is to meet the professional and developmental needs of sales and sales management professionals and individuals who want to improve their professional sales skills. One of the primary focuses of NSN is diversity.

This year NSN created a student only conference in Atlanta, GA. The NSN Student Sales & Marketing Conference brought together the top diverse undergraduate and graduate student talent from across the U.S. for an opportunity of a lifetime.

The NSN Student Sales & Marketing Conference is the most powerful sales and marketing development program available to diverse students interested in marketing and/or sales. Over 350 students applied to attend the conference, and 100 were accepted. UAB represented 10% of the students attending the conference which was one of the highest percentages from any one university.

BAP Students at Literacy EventUAB's student chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honorary and service organization for accounting, finance and information system students and professionals, has been granted "Superior Status" for its academic and public service work.

Led last year by Collat School of Business faculty advisor and accounting instructor Eddie Nabors, the chapter will receive $275, an award sponsored by the KPMG Foundation, dedicated to quality education in accounting.

"Under the leadership of Eddie Nabors, the Delta Chi chapter has far exceeded the baseline requirements of Beta Alpha Psi and has excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism and leadership," said Beta Alpha Psi President Shawn Harter.

Collat School of Business Dean Eric P. Jack praised Nabors for his "excellent leadership and dedication" to Collat's students.

"I also commend our students for their engagement and service to our community," he said. "These are excellent examples of engagement and impact."

In 2012, Delta Chi was named most improved chapter and was granted superior status by Beta Alpha Psi after rigorous improvements in activity and recruitment.

 — Jared Jones