This year, RHIT EcoCAR 2 was tasked with developing a business team. The communications team was founded by a communications major with ties to Indiana State professors, but reaching out to the business department with no ties to faculty members was challenging. Business manager Leah Newton started off by researching various business administrations and marketing professors within the Indiana State University Scott College of Business. After finding appropriate matches for RHIT’s needs, Newton sent out emails in hopes that at least one professor would respond.
Newton and communication manager Ashley Kronsell began to brainstorm other ways they could reach out to faculty members. During the Year Two Winter Workshop, Newton received an email from faculty member Dr. Aruna Chandra, who was eager to learn more about the EcoCAR 2 program. Subsequent of the workshop, Newton and Kronsell immediately set up a meeting with Dr. Chandra to explain more about EcoCAR 2 and what her role would be with the team. A mutually beneficial agreement was achieved: Dr. Chandra would be able to utilize this project as a learning tool for her MBA students. After establishing this relationship, Newton facilitated a presentation to Dr. Chandra’s class to see which students would be interested in joining EcoCAR 2.
Six students came forward and showed a strong interest in the project. While establishing the next essential competition deliverable, Newton made it clear that she wanted the students to gain experience in areas that they saw relevant to their educational or career goals. Newton thinks it imperative that the business team members feel they are contributing to a project that is beneficial to their careers. By participating in this project, the students receive a stellar experience in which they are gaining crucial, real world skills.
The establishment of the business team has been highly successful thus far, and the team is in the process of implementing several new ideas to improve business-related aspects of RHIT EcoCAR 2. Newton stated that she is grateful to have support from the business faculty and is glad that she has several highly intelligent students to aid her with her deliverables.