Indiana State University Newsroom

Scott College of Business students put class lessons to work at lunch

April 25, 2014

While faculty and staff were served up midday meals by Sycamore Lunch Express for four days, students in three Scott College of Business courses were learning valuable lesson on project management.

The Sycamore Lunch Express project was a collaboration between undergraduates in Aruna Chandra's BUS 401 senior business experience class and graduate students in Jeff Harper's project management class, visiting associate professor of marketing Vernon Sweetin's marketing promotions course, and Sandeep Bhwomick's marketing research class.

The task was to deliver lunch to faculty and staff in Federal Hall and John T. Meyers Technology Center for a $2 fee April 14-17. Each class was responsible for a job - Harper's class was responsible for project management, Sweetin's students developed a promotional strategy and Bhowmick's class conducted market research, which was sent to Chandra's students, who pulled all of the information together.

"A general criticism about business schools is that they treat each class as a silo, but this project created linkages between four courses," said Chandra, whose students discussed their experiences with the project at the final class of the semester on April 23. "Students in my class get to see a piece of project management. The project management class gets to interact with the strategy class and the marketing research and promotions team interacts with my students so they can see all of the connections."

It was a project that allowed April Allen, a senior accounting major, to tap into her the knowledge she's gained in the classroom during the last four years.

"I know a lot of Excel worksheets and it helped us be able to keep track of orders every day," she said. "But it will be important for any other class that takes this on to make sure the price the invoices and the price on the receipts match. It may take an extra step, but it might be a good idea to call of the restaurants where the food came from ahead of time and make sure all of the prices match the receipts."

As a member of the human resources team, Will Lehman, a senior insurance and risk management major in BUS 401, was involved in the human resources team that served as financial managers, as well as having the responsibility of hiring workers.

"It was interesting to learn the hiring process, especially as we're preparing to graduate," he said. "We needed to make sure we were hiring responsible people who were going to show up for their shifts on time, and we needed motivated people who were going to reflect a positive image. Most importantly, we're seniors and we're all busy, so we had to make sure we found people who were available to work the time slots."

"It was an academic exercise that gave the students experience to learn about the details that affect real world business plans," Sweetin said about the group of five students from his course who participated in the project by developing a marketing plan that involved flier distribution to get the word out about Sycamore Luncheon Express. "Overall, they benefited by learning how to work with other students, accommodate each other and make sure everyone contributed."

Many students in Chandra's class cited a lack of communication between the three classes as a struggle and agreed that they learned the importance of maintaining connections with other group members."You will find in the real world, too, that you are sometimes dependent on others to do their work," Chandra told her class. "If they don't, you see now how it can be a challenge for you to complete what you need to do."

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or