McGraw School of Business Update

Spring semester update regarding student internships and awards.

June 12, 2020 Academics

During the 2019-20 academic year at Olivet Nazarene University, 349 students were enrolled as business majors, many of who participated in the business clubs and organizations. While each group has a different focus, they all seek to encourage personal development and professional readiness through real-world, practical applications.

The McGraw School of Business offers degrees in accounting, business administration, economics and finance, international business, management information systems, and marketing, with concentrations in more than 18 specific areas of business. 

The following article highlights just a few of the unique clubs and activities that are geared toward students in Olivet’s McGraw School of Business.

Internships & Networking
This year, junior and senior students at Olivet completed 2,310 hours of internship experiences. Students worked with a wide variety of companies, from local community partners such as St. Mary’s Hospital and Shine.FM, to corporations such as Subway and Amazon. Through these upperclassman internships and the Career Management course that freshmen and sophomore students take, Olivet business students are equipped to succeed and excel in the workplace.  

Professor Nathan Karsten teaches Career Management, a course designed to prepare students for internships and job applications. As it relates to the school’s purpose, he said, “The McGraw School of Business emphasizes student development through its commitment to its six defining principles called the Ladders of Success. It emphasizes six key areas of personal development including career, concentration, connections, certification, competition and calling for students to begin their educational journey with the end in mind. As freshmen and sophomores, business students are enrolled in this career preparation course, Career Management, that works with them on resumes, cover letters, networking, and other related topics to prepare them for the internship they will complete during their junior or senior year. Our desire for students is that they will come to Olivet looking for a career, and graduate having found God’s calling on their life.”

Junior Grace Klein was fortunate to land an internship with Amazon for the summer despite the limitations that COVID-19 brought. She learned about the internship through a family friend, who recommended she look at Amazon Web Services, “a subsidiary branch of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to small and large businesses all across the world.” Klein applied, and after going through the interview process was accepted around Christmas. 

“Although my internship was supposed to be in Seattle, Washington from June through August, it will now be remote due to COVID-19. I’m very grateful that I have this amazing opportunity to work from home, even though things didn’t go exactly as planned!”

Klein looks forward to learning about cloud computing, and how it can help businesses to become more efficient, as well as virtually networking with a wide variety of business professionals. “I want to encourage all Olivet business students about the importance of networking during college! You can find awesome opportunities if you work hard to research them and stay persistent in the process. Also, remember to trust God in the process and ask him to guide your steps! One of my favorite bible verses is Proverbs 19:21 which says, “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.””

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) has not only provided students with opportunities to travel to events, but it has also opened doors for student internships. Junior Nicholas Morales was a part of the new AAF Campus to Corporate Internship program, which helped him through both experience and networking. Because of his connection to the AAF, he was able to get an internship with the Omnicom Group, one of the largest advertising and marketing agencies in America, and a global organization. Nicholas said; “I’m very excited to go through their internship program and grow as an individual and as a professional and as a marketer and advertiser. I was able to do this because of the AAF Campus to Career Internship Program. I loved what I heard about them, their culture, what they stand for.” 

*Due to circumstances surrounding the effects of COVID-19, many internships were canceled, moved to be remote, or had delayed starts. Comments above reflected students’ plans as of the end of the spring semester.

Accolades and Honors

American Advertising Federation and Alpha Delta Sigma
Alpha Delta Sigma is a national honor society sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF).  Alpha Delta Sigma is the only national, professional advertising honorary society in American higher education. The society recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement in advertising studies. The organization dates back to 1913, when the fraternity was founded at the University of Missouri. In 1973, Alpha Delta Sigma merged with the AAF. This spring, the following students from Olivet were inducted into the society: Dana Dzingel, Taryn Eckart, Zach Kinzel, Brittany Nush, Kelsey Stang, Elizabeth Syndram, and Mena Turi. Dean of the McGraw School of Business Dr. Glen Rewerts and Professor Chris Perez hosted a virtual induction ceremony to honor this year’s inductees. 

Professor Perez said, “Despite being scattered throughout the country because of the COVID-19 crisis, we desired to take a brief moment to celebrate and recognize this year’s inductees! Each of them, in their way, exhibited service and influence on campus and in the community. I trust they will continue to be a great source of inspiration and aspiration for our future classes as alumni.”

Phi Beta Lambda
The Olivet Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) club participated in the Illinois Phi Beta Lamda State Conference. This year due to the pandemic, the conference was held virtually. Olivet PBL members received 12 state titles in various categories, some of those categories include computer concepts, contemporary sports issues, personal finance, sales presentation, marketing concepts, and parliamentary procedures. PBL member Morgan Dasch said of her experience in the club, “PBL has helped me to become more comfortable and adaptable in real life situations where I have to apply the things I’ve learned at school.”

Ellie Murphy, a junior double majoring in international business and political science, recently received the Outstanding Business Student Award from Phi Beta Lambda. “It is humbling to see a dream come to fruition,” said Ellie. “Knowing the caliber of candidates who are nominated to a National Award such as this, I did not anticipate being selected.” The Outstanding Business Student Award is awarded to students who have clearly shown leadership potential through business courses and involvement with student organizations activities as well as being involved in school and the local community. Ellie serves on campus currently as ONU’s Presidents of ONU’s chapters of both Phi Beta Lambda and Pi Sigma Alpha. She is also Vice President of Phi Beta Lambda’s National North Central Region of Illinois and is involved with the Law and Political Society on Olivet’s campus. “Ellie Murphy is the ideal business student,” Department Chair Dr. Glen Rewerts said. “She’s always positive, proactive, and professional. She will be a success.” This summer, Ellie is completing working for NASA as a business intern.

Enactus has been a club at Olivet for more than 20 years and is one of the most influential clubs in the business program. The entire year, the team worked diligently to make a major Kingdom difference in the Olivet community. The overarching goal of all of their projects was to “transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world.” Despite COVID-19 related set-backs, Olivet’s team found ways through technology to still take part in competitions at the end of the semester. Even though Olivet moved learning online to finish the spring semester, the team maintained active communication through Zoom and other virtual meeting programs. In May, they competed virtually in the Enactus U.S. National Expo, where their project earned the team national standing as a semi-finalist (one of the top 8 teams). Noah Schuitema, the president of Olivet’s Enactus chapter said, “Since the beginning of COVID-19, Enactus’ leadership team and members worked countless hours working on our presentation for the 2020 Enactus Expo Competition. This past semester definitely presented our team with various challenges in regard to meeting virtually and planning a video presentation for competition. However, our team exceeded expectations and didn’t let COVID-19 affect the attitude we carried in representing Olivet well in the National Expo Competition.”

Society for Human Resource Management 
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) focuses on the quality of people and their purpose in the workplace. This year, the SHRM team included Kelsey Stang, Nick Roedl, Martin Manosalvas, Mackenzie Hock and Emelina Mancha. Each student represented ONU’s top business majors of business administration, economics and finance, and marketing. In February of 2020, the SHRM club participated in the virtual College Case Competition hosted by Caterpillar Inc. In this competition, the teams were critiqued based upon the examination of the case problem, the developed solution, and the plan for implementation. The competition was a new experience for students to encounter. Faculty sponsor, Andy Corbus said, “This event was a bit different than the past, in that the case was based on a real problem Caterpillar was facing. The team was required to sign non-disclosure agreements and treated this as a consulting engagement. They presented their case to a panel of senior managers from Caterpillar and a number of their vendors. The team did a great job and received a very positive response from the Caterpillar team.” The overall event was successful for students to learn and improve for future events. Students were able to gain knowledgeable information on HR recruitment aspects, critical thinking, and team-building skills.

SHRM club president, Kelsey Stang says “My favorite part of competing for SHRM has always been the team-building aspect. You work to develop critical thinking skills as you work on the case, but the friendships and connections you make throughout the project are priceless! It’s a lot of fun.” The team was expected to participate in two competitions this year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the student team was only able to participate in the 2020 Caterpillar Inc. College Case Competition and the Illinois SHRM Conference was canceled.

CFA Research Challenge 
The CFA Research Challenge is an annual competition that presents college students with guidance that includes hands-on investment training. Students learn realistic problems and gain experience as a research analyst. Through this event, the student’s ability to evaluate stocks, problems, and create action plans are tested. During the 2019-2020 academic year, ONU’s Investment club participated in the CFA Research Challenge. The challenge included Noah Owens, Tiffany Damato, Jacob Flynn, and Eric Christopherson. This hardworking team did an excellent job during the fall semester and finished up the spring semester by placing top 10 in the region. 

Fed Challenge 
ONU students get first-hand experience in the world of Economics through Chicago’s’ Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve System also known as the Fed Challenge is a competition for five students from participating universities to make a fifteen-minute presentation about the state of the U.S. economy and what the Federal Reserve should do about it and then answer questions from a panel of judges afterwards about their presentations. The Fed Challenge allows students to be put into the shoes of the Federal Reserve. It allows students to explore and defend the U.S. economy by presenting solution presentations to make the economy better. Brooke Whetstone, a senior and a participant of the FED. Challenge for the past two years, stated, “The competition provides a unique opportunity to learn about the Federal Reserve and how monetary policy influences the rest of the economy.”

Students from all different majors and department clubs participated in the Fed Challenge this year such as Investment Club, Economics and Finance and many others. The Fed Challenge allowed students to look at the economy through various different perspectives such as different industries and the participants as well. Senior Aaron Chenoweth and a participant of the 2019 Fed Challenge stated, “The Fed Challenge forces you to gain a greater understanding of monetary policy. We received challenging questions during our presentation but they helped refine my understanding of what is pertinent to current macroeconomic policy.”

For more information about the McGraw School of Business and other areas of study, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Published 6/12/2020
Edited by LB

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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