All posts by mclemore

Free Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshops for Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni

The McMillon Innovation Studio at the Sam M. Walton College of Business is joining forces with the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to bring a series of workshops and services to university students, faculty, staff and alumni during the spring 2019 semester. The workshops and services focus on building skills needed for innovation, creative problem-solving and meaningful collaboration.

Free Workshops
This semester’s events include:

  • Creative Confidence – Participants learn how to strengthen team dynamics by applying art and theater principles like improvisation that build trust and agility. This 1-hour, interactive workshop is designed to:
    • Foster an open and collaborative environment.
    • Build creative confidence.
    • Facilitate an “agile” way of working.
    • Get people outside their comfort zone.

These workshops are deployed on an as-needed basis, typically at the start of a class with group projects. Email oei@uark.edu to schedule.

  • The Heart of the Customer – Deep empathy for the end user is a meaningful starting place for new innovations and businesses. Participants learn key techniques for empathizing and interacting with their audience – clients, users, patients or customers. This workshop helps participants:
    • Create an open mindset to change and iteration.
    • Understand empathy and why it is important.
    • Practice drawing key insights from an empathy map and customer discovery interviews.

Workshops will be held Feb. 20 from 5:45-7 p.m. at the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub just off the Fayetteville square or on Feb. 26 from noon-1:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio located in the Harmon Parking Garage on campus.

  • Prototype and Iterate – Workshop attendees learn how to create, release and test “minimum delightful experiences.” Participants will gain experience rapid prototyping in a safe environment. By the end of this hands-on workshop, participants will:
    • Understand the importance of failure.
    • Know how to use feedback loops to inform iterations.
    • Practice prototyping in the McMillon Studio makerspace (3D printing, digital tools, sewing, drawing, etc.).

Workshops will be held March 6 from 5-6:30 p.m. or on March 12 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio.

  • Setting Your Idea Free – This workshop is intended for people who have a prototype or a solution and need to get funders, partners or customers onboard. Participants will learn key storytelling techniques in a low-risk, highly interactive speed-pitching session. Participants will:
    • Learn the essential parts of a good story.
    • Learn how to identify a target audience and tailor a message to that audience.
    • Practice telling their stories live.

Workshops will be held March 27 from 5:45-7 p.m. at the Brewer Hub, April 2 from noon-1:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio, and on April 10 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Brewer Hub.

  • Bootstrapping 101 – This workshop is intended for innovators who have validated an idea and need help getting it off the ground. Drawing from real-life case studies, this workshop will show how creatively pulling resources together can replace or supplement traditional financing. Attendees will:
    • Learn the principles of business viability (cost structure and revenue streams).
    • Learn how to identify and apply for grant funding.
    • Understand the value of interdisciplinary teams.

Workshop will be held April 3 from 5:45-7 p.m. at the Brewer Hub.

Additional entrepreneurial programs and services will also be available:

Speed Consulting – Individuals and teams working on a business or idea can bring their questions and get advice from a range of experienced consultants, in fields ranging from marketing to design to intellectual property, in one afternoon. Consultations will be held Feb. 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the Brewer Hub or on April 19 from 2- 4 p.m. at the McMillon Studio.

Speaker Series — Be inspired by intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs with a story to tell in an intimate, conversational setting.  Lectures are held April 17 and on May 1 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio.

Faculty Bootcamp – Faculty interested in using innovation and entrepreneurship workshops in concert with their classes or programs can join this two-hour session for an overview of the content. Workshops will be held March 5 from noon-1:30 p.m. at the McMillon Studio and on March 6 from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Brewer Hub.

The Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub is located at 123 W. Mountain Street in Fayetteville. The McMillon Innovation Studio is located at 146 N. Harmon Avenue. 

All events require preregistration. To register for the workshops, visit oeiworkshops.eventbrite.com. For additional information, email mcmillon@walton.uark.edu or oei@uark.edu.

EPIC Alumni Spotlight: Lingyun Zhang

The enduring career of Lingyun Zhang is the confluence of life-long passions, influences and experiences, starting in China, moving to America, and then back overseas. Although she primarily focuses on marketing strategies in her graduate pursuits, Zhang also enjoyed the experience of earning a degree at the Sam M. Walton College of Business in supply chain management this past May.

“During my time as an undergraduate, when I learned the concepts and skills in supply chain management and other business-related courses like finance, accounting and marketing, I gradually realized that separated knowledge could contribute little help to being successful as an entrepreneur,” said Zhang. “Supply chain management helps a company save money while marketing skills help the company increase sales. I desire more comprehensive knowledge about how to run a company in the future.”

Before Zhang studied abroad, she earned her first Bachelor’s degree in logistics management at Soochow University which is based in Suzhou, China. Driven to succeed, Zhang was awarded the Academic Excellence Award prize three times alongside her other academic awards that highlighted her community involvement, innovation and quality development.

Zhang held two different positions at Soochow University during her enrollment, one as vice president for Enactus and the other as associate director for the Students’ Union. Her involvement with students, awards and scholarships she obtained pushed her to study abroad and pursue a degree in supply chain management, as she was granted the Soochow University Overseas Study Scholarship in 2017.

Lingyun Zhang, Walton College alumna“My academic experiences at the University of Arkansas had a profound impact on me, but the relationships I built with my instructors, classmates, and friends are absolutely the most invaluable things in my mind.”

In her free time, Zhang enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring with her friends and being with her family. Her mother and father both live in China, which influenced her returning home after her studies concluded at the University of Arkansas.

During her time in the Walton College, Zhang held a spot on the Chancellor and Dean’s List. In just one academic year, she and her classmates from Soochow accumulated 47 credits. Zhang was among the highest performing students in her class, obtaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout her experiences abroad.

 What Zhang has learned from her academic courses has proven invaluable during her internships, with Walmart China being her first in 2016. As a project intern in the Supply Chain Department, Zhang was responsible for the system upgrade of the Team Productivity Report for the Fresh Distribution Centre. Her responsibilities entailed eliminating inefficient jobs, redefining new roles and presupposing the criteria for working hours and work efficiency assessments.

Presently, Zhang resides as a digital marketing intern for Wyeth Nutrition based in Shanghai, where she directly communicates with multiple departments to support campaigns’ follow up and convenient operation.

Time management in her administrative work is a direct reflection of one of the many skills she acquired during her time at the Walton College. Continuously engaging in administrative work, Zhang still finds time to pursue her research interests, involving marketing strategies and analysis rooted in Chinese tradition and media.

Lingyun Zhang, Walton College alumna

“Enjoy your time in academia, even the quizzes and tests,” said Zhang. “I’ve learned that problems are not limited to answer selections; issues outside of school are much harder to solve and not always as clear-cut.”

We are proud to have Lingyun Zhang as one of our EPIC Spotlights as she continues to make global progress and encourages other women to do the same!

 — Blair Carver, SCMRC Communication Coordinator

Walton Career Services Prepares Students for Job Readiness

Walton Career Services at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosts events year-round to prepare students for careers.  Activities and services include workshops with industry professionals, professional development skill enhancements and internship/job search strategies.

2016 Career Fair Walton College
Walton College students find leads for internships and full-time jobs at the Walton College Career Fair.

In addition to traditional career fairs, professional development sessions, informational sessions and interviews, this semester’s events will include weekly Are You Ready? pop-up shops, as well as its Company of the Day program. A summary of events is included below.

February Events:

  • RB Outperformance Challenge: Feb. 7, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Sam’s Club Lunch & Learn: Feb. 11, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Schneider Corporate Spotlight: Feb. 13, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sales Competition: Feb. 21
  • Resume Rescue: Feb. 26 & 27
  • Are You Ready? Pop-Up Shop: Every Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

March Events:

  • Business Career Fair: March 5, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Enterprise – Company of the Day: March 26, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Are You Ready? Pop-Up Shop: Every Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

April Events:

  • J.B. Hunt – Company of the Day: April 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 1 – 3 p.m. 
  • PepsiCo Distinguished Lecture: April 4, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Buckle – Company of the Day: April 9, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Careers in the Arts & Entertainment Industries: April 9, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. 
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Corporate Spotlight: April 10, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • UA Employer Partners BBQ: April 11
  • Abbott – Company of the Day: April 16, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • SAM Talk with Buster Arnwine of RB: April 17, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Are You Ready? Pop-Up Shop: Every Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

For more details, visit walton.uark.edu/career/, email CareerServices@Walton.uark.edu or sign into Handshake  uark.joinhandshake.com to see the complete list and newly added events. You can also register to attend at uark.joinhandshake.com.

2018 China Logistics Insights Report Released With Theme Focusing on Green Supply Chain

The Supply Chain Management Research Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas teamed up with researchers in China to compare the macro-economic data of Chinese and American transportation volume and inventory costs. The research was conducted by the Walton College center, the Development & Research Center of the State Post Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Transportation and the Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Limited, an Alibaba affiliate.

2018 China Logistics Insights Report
2018 China Logistics Insights Report

The 2018 China Logistics Insights Report reviews each country’s detailed logistics costs as a percentage of gross domestic product. Findings compare the domestic Chinese economy with cost details in the U.S. State of Logistics Report, insights on the differences and logistics trends and an outlook for the future. This year’s report focuses on green supply chain. 

“China’s green supply chain strategy has been evolving for several years starting in 2011 in a development phase. It has matured to include product design, procurement, production, sales, distribution, consumption and recycling aspects of supply chain management.  Currently, green supply chain governance systems based on regulations, policies and standards are in place” said John Kent, clinical associate professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management.

To receive a digital copy of the report, email John Kent at JKent@walton.uark.edu along with your name and company affiliation.

Taking the RB Challenge

RB, a multinational consumer goods company, challenged students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business to think about the corporation’s product in totally new ways. While the challenge competition lasted only two days, the winning team continues to reap the benefits.

Last fall, Lindsey Wagaman, a junior at the University of Arkansas double-majoring in marketing and supply chain management, teamed up with fellow students — Sydney Brooks, a senior majoring in marketing, and Dylan Seelye, a senior majoring in finance — to accept the two-day RB business challenge: present a solution on how to increase market share of MegaRed Krill Oil, an omega-3 supplement.

On the first day, student teams reviewed sales and research on MegaRed, a Schiff Vitamin brand that is a subsidiary of RB, a multinational consumer goods company. RB executives coached teams and delivered feedback on presentation strategy and approach.

Wagaman, Brooks and Seelye gathered information, collaborated on ideas and developed a presentation.

“My team agreed that the majority of people who took krill oil pills were affluent middle-aged to elderly adults. We decided to position MegaRed products as a preventative measure for the whole family in order to expand the target market,” Wagaman said. “To do this, we proposed krill oil gummy vitamins for kids, biscuits and oil for dogs and subscription boxes. We highlighted different marketing aspects such as a heart mascot on the gummies and connections to popular nonprofit organizations like the American Heart Association.”

On the second day, student teams presented solutions to RB. While Wagaman, Brooks and Seelye’s team won the challenge, they received more than just bragging rights.

“Hands-on experience is one of the most valuable skills students can have. Having the opportunity to work on a real problem faced by a company helps students change their perspective and think about issues differently,” Wagaman said. “Many of the questions recruiters ask in interviews are about past experience in particular situations. Being able to draw on these experiences as answers to interview questions is a simple way to highlight hands-on experience and give students an upper hand when job hunting.”

Jordan Fry was the RB representative I gave my executive pitch to. As I was going through my involvement and experience he continually asked me why I do the things I do, and what I’m passionate about. I had never taken a step back to think about what I was really passionate about from a professional standpoint before. This question was asked throughout the two-day competition. Because of the push to connect the personal aspect to our professional careers, my group and I incorporated personal stories and experiences into our presentation.”

My group and I have remained in contact with RB representatives since the challenge,” Wagaman said. “We have been able to meet with them to further develop our solutions from the challenge and receive executive mentorship. I’m looking forward to maintaining my relationship with RB and continuing to work with them on our ideas.”

RB Challenge Benefits
“The most impactful part about RB’s Challenge to me was the amount of direct feedback each student received. On the first day of the challenge we each gave our executive pitches to an RB representative. Students received one-on-one feedback including tips for interviews and professional advice. Direct feedback is not something most employers or representatives give to students seeking internships or careers,” Wagaman said. “I would recommend all students apply for the spring RB Challenge because it’s a valuable opportunity that not many students get.”

Students have the opportunity to take the RB Challenge on Thursday, Feb. 7, by registering on Handshake no later than Thursday, Jan. 31. 

Find out more about the RB Challenge through the Career Development Services at theSam M. Walton College of Business by emailing Catherine Beasley, corporate programs manager, at cbeasley@walton.uark.edu.

About RB 
RB — the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company — never tires of challenging the norm, and keeps giving people innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. Visit RB.com for more information on RB’s career opportunities and graduate programs.​

Chartwells Partnership Promotes McMillon Innovation Studio Health Initiative

Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services at the University of Arkansas has made a commitment to support a health and well-being program at the McMillon Innovation Studio at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. The McMillon Studio’s mission is to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Arkansas.

“As an organization, Chartwells/Compass Group is passionate about helping reduce food insecurity in the campuses and communities we live and work in,” said Andrew Lipson, resident district manager for Chartwells at the University of Arkansas. “I hope this initiative will educate people about making smarter food choices and provide them with better access to those food choices.”

The health and well-being program at the McMillon Innovation Studio will research various challenges with a specific focus on food insecurity and access to healthy foods.

“The partnership uses design thinking principles and puts innovation in action to discover solutions that achieve better health and well-being outcomes on campus and the larger community,” said Jessica Taylor, health and well-being program director at McMillon Innovation Studio and graduate student in the School of Social Work. “We put the customer at the heart of what we do.”

The projects are student-led and receive advice from advisory boards and local experts. The McMillon Innovation Studio also has design teams in the areas of supply chain and seamless commerce.

“I’m excited about what’s on the horizon for our teams,” said Rachel Sullivant, director of student engagement at McMillon Innovation Studio. “Our health and well-being program is a natural partnership for Chartwells. Together, we can make positive change for our students, the broader campus and the community.”

About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services
Chartwells, a division of Compass Group North America, provides dining services for 280 colleges and universities nationwide. For more information about Chartwells, visit ChartwellsHigherEd.com or DineOnCampus.com.

About McMillon Innovation Studio
The McMillon Innovation Studio is a physical hub of innovation supporting creativity, entrepreneurship, and collaboration between all disciplines on the University of Arkansas campus. We exist to shape the future of commerce by developing and enabling students to be catalysts of innovation. Learn more about McMillon Studio at mcmillonstudio.uark.edu.

Walton College Offers Online Degree in Supply Chain Management

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas now offers an online bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. Through a partnership with the university’s Global Campus, Walton College now supports three online bachelor’s degree programs: supply chain management, general business and accounting.

“I am proud to add a supply chain management degree to our lineup of online degree offerings,” said Matthew Waller, dean of the Walton College. “It opens up a world of possibilities for nontraditional students, no matter where they live or work.”

The online program in supply chain management will prepare students for leadership roles in a fast growing, complex and demanding field. Supply chain talent must be able to excel with the emergence of analytical capabilities as the market expands globally. Therefore, companies are continuously seeking new talent to keep pace with the rapidly changing interface of the supply chain.

“Businesses are currently experiencing a shortage in supply chain talent, so adding the online supply chain degree program reflects our ongoing efforts to advance the college’s vision for being a catalyst for transforming the lives of our students, while contributing great talent to the industry,” said Brian Fugate, chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management.

Students can begin the supply chain management bachelor’s program and complete all four years of coursework online. Students with past college credit can also complete the rest of their bachelor’s degrees online. To graduate, scholars must complete at least 120 credit hours, including the university’s core requirements and select Supply Chain Management courses.

Walton College’s Department of Supply Chain Management is ranked 15th in the nation by the 2018 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges” and by leading research and advisory company Gartner in its biennial North American Supply Chain University Program Survey.

“Online degree programs provide the flexibility needed by some students to overcome barriers of time, distance and life demands,” said Don Judges, vice provost for Distance Education. “The new online supply chain degree is the perfect complement to the U of A’s growing list of online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.”

The new program is one of about 40 online programs offered completely or primarily online by U of A academic colleges and schools.

Online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree options are showcased on the University of Arkansas ONLINE website, as well as online certificate, licensure and endorsement programs. Online programs are administered by the Global Campus, which is a U of A support unit.

About the Department of Supply Chain Management: In addition to faculty expertise, our students benefit from the Walton College Supply Chain Management Research Center, which connects students to industry executives, internships and job opportunities. Recognizing the quality of the supply chain program faculty and graduates, U.S. News & World Report has rated the Walton College supply chain program among the best in the United States.

About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

Urban League Honors Dean Matthew Waller

Matthew A. Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, will receive the Whitney M. Young Award for his work to improve the lives of underserved Arkansans at a luncheon hosted by the Urban League of the State of Arkansas on Dec. 5 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

“It is quite an honor for me to be a recognized by the Urban League,” said Waller. “An integral part of the Walton College mission is to serve all Arkansans, something I take seriously. To aid us in our mission, Walton College leans on our Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the oldest diversity office of any SEC business college. We also provide scholarships and academic support resources to assist and retain students. This support is important to our school, industry and state.”

The luncheon, chaired by Lottie Shackelford, former mayor of Little Rock, recognizes the contributions of individuals who help provide equal opportunities for all Arkansans.

Waller was chosen for the honor because of his commitment to diversity and inclusion at Walton College and within the state.  Annie Abrams, a longtime civil rights activist, will also be recognized at the event.

For additional information or to purchase tickets for the event, contact the Urban League at info@urbanleagueark.org

Moore Selected as Walton College Employee of the Quarter

Amy Moore, administrative specialist III for outreach, has been named employee of the first quarter by the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Anyone in the college may nominate colleagues for the award, which is given to employees who show superior customer service that enhances the image of the college above and beyond the scope of that employee’s job description.

Along with Moore, Alice Frizzell, assistant director of information systems graduate programs; Monica Gammill, assistant director in the accounting center; Rachel Hobby, assistant MBA director at the Graduate School of Business; and Amanda Waters, administrative specialist II in the Department of Management, were also nominated for their contributions to Walton College.

The winner receives a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize. Winners are chosen by Walton College Dean Matt Waller, the associate deans, the assistant deans and the Walton College Staff Council.