5/16/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – During the past semester, Ashland University students who are members of Enactus, a group that teaches business techniques, assisted a local business in an effort to help the community and help the local business grow.
In order to do this, the students relied on past experiences as well as the classroom knowledge learned over the years. Hayley Ramser, Gina Tornabene, Hannah Smith, Stefanie McArthur and Casey Neer, along with marketing professor Kris Hovsepian, took on the challenge of making a business plan for Wager’s Way.
Their goal was not only to increase sales and profits for Wager’s Way, but to continue charity work with local organizations such as the Boy Scouts.
Wager’s Way is a teamwork and leadership development service that utilizes three miniature horses along with two full size horses to help participants learn about their strengths, challenges, self-awareness and communication skills.
Wager’s Way owner Ginny Telego believes that by using horses along with team building practices, her service allows people to become better communicators. “Whether for leadership, team development or general workforce skill building, the Wager's Way programs can help your business to have a workforce with skills that help your organization succeed,” Telego said.
In order to help Wager’s Way, Ashland University students were put in charge of conducting a SWOT analysis, marketing plan and creating mediums in which Wager’s Way could grow its customer base. Creating a clear and fluid website, participating in the team building exercises and attending the Columbus Society of Human Resource Managers meetings where they networked and created a clientele, were some of the tasks completed to reach the goal.
By doing so, students got a taste of what it takes to create a brand while growing a business. However, they understood how to connect and use networking to their advantage.
“I have better networking skills, using contacts to reach out and gain clients for WW. These have helped us reach regional HR managers. I increased my problem solving and analytical skills to help WW,” said Stefanie McArthur, who graduated from AU in May with a degree in marketing.
While the students weren’t in charge of running the business, such experience showed Hayley Ramser, a senior marketing major from Gambier, Ohio, that marketing for a business is only one part to a successful company. “I gained appreciation for the amount of time and effort that entrepreneurs put into their businesses. Great businesses aren't created overnight. It takes time to figure out what works best,” Ramser said.
Senior Casey Neer of West Salem, also a marketing major, understood that having a business means more than just having sales and profits. He believes there is something more that is needed in order to run a company.
“I learned much about myself and working in a team. The project opened my eyes. Entrepreneurship involves passion. This experience was my first real life experience and dealing with the reality of running and marketing a business,” Neer said.
While three students in the group graduated in May, the other students will follow up with financial results after next semester and this will show whether their efforts were fruitful. But if Wager’s Way owner Ginny Telego has anything to say about it, she is confident that this kind of help from aspiring entrepreneurs will see positive results.
“The response from the Columbus SHRM chapter was very positive,” Telego said. “I am very appreciative of being chosen as the Enactus project this year and look forward to transforming more lives through Wager’s Way.”
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###