Students in the Hallmark School of Business Work out in the Field with Industry Experts
Hallmark University prepares students when they join the workforce, determined to make a graduate’s transition into their new career seamless. In the Hallmark School of Business, students receive their unique hands-on training through the newly enhanced Hallmark Consulting Group Hybrid program. This program brings students out into the field to learn from local industry experts, working with real businesses in the San Antonio community.
“Many employers are saying that a degree, especially with undergraduate business students, is just not enough anymore,” said Pamela McCray, Dean for the Hallmark School of Business Undergraduate Studies. “Graduates come in with the knowledge they received from their studies, but they don’t have the skills or experience they need to utilize it in the workplace. Most business programs don’t provide opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in the way that they need to understand it. We are addressing this issue with our new hybrid program, bringing industry experts into the classroom and getting students out into the field to apply their newfound expertise.”
The Hallmark Consulting Group Hybrid program brings students together for four separate Saturday classes during a term. In each Saturday class, industry experts from the local San Antonio community join the class to mentor students, sharing their insights from years of experience in their respective fields to guide them in their studies. Students collaborate to solve challenging business problems by the end of the day, directly sharing their solutions to complex issues presented to them by the guest experts.
“Our second Saturday course has us downtown on the San Antonio Riverwalk with one of our key sponsors, the owner of the local Kilwins chain. The class worked a day in the shop and did a competitive scavenger hunt to gather information about nearby competing businesses. The students came back and made a stand and deliver to the CEO, presenting their findings and ideas to problems as professional consultants. The students have had a great time learning from and working with our guest speakers, getting hands-on with real businesses, and being able to give presentations back to real CEO’s. I would say, above all, not only are we all learning, but we’re having fun.”
The industry experts that mentor students in the new hybrid program volunteer their expertise on their own time, recognizing the value Hallmark students can bring to their businesses. The combination of this new hands-on training program will benefit students upon graduation, where they will be prepared to handle the issues presented to them in their near future careers.
“This is a great resume builder for our students. When you are going through the course and building contacts with our industry partners, you’re going to be able to go into a job interview and demonstrate that you have done the work and will bring it in with you when you get hired. And these skills that students develop not only benefit them in the business environment but also in their lives. Everything from project management to the communication skills that we develop will be invaluable in everything that they do.”
As additional classes within the School of Business adopt the Hallmark Consulting Group Hybrid program format, students and local industry experts will continue to collaborate and learn from one another. The opportunities for both employers and students are near endless, as everyone is introduced to new ideas and experiences in the classroom, as well as in the field.