Black Hills State University business students presented their marketing and retail plans to area businesses and nonprofits recently. The students worked with the Western Hills Humane Society, Deadwood History Inc., Spearfish Martial Arts, and a new business planning to open in Spearfish. Pictured left to right: Kolten Johnson, business administration-marketing major from Aurora, Colo.; Bryce Boser, mass communications major from Box Elder; Matthew Singleton, business administration-management major from Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Alexa Anderson, business administration-marketing major from Gering, Neb.; and Patrick Hunter, business administration-management major from Worland, Wyo. presented a marketing plan to Spearfish Martial Arts recently.
Students in several business classes at Black Hills State University presented their research projects to the community groups they worked with throughout the semester.
Students in the Marketing Management and Retail Management business courses taught by Dr. Wei Song, professor of marketing at BHSU worked with two potential new businesses in Spearfish along with the Western Hills Humane Society, Spearfish Martial Arts, and Deadwood History, Inc.
Song said experiential learning, learning through active experiences, enhances students’ practical skills while allowing them to make positive impacts on local communities.
“Experiential learning encourages our students to win the job competition and also prepares them for their careers after leaving the University,” said Song.
Emily Harris, business administration-marketing major from Rapid City, and her student group worked with Deadwood History, Inc. to construct a historical event for the organization to attract the millennial crowd.
“We helped Deadwood History assess the target market they were missing and come up with an event they could use at different times throughout the year to get more millennials in the door,” said Harris.
Rose Speirs, communications director at Deadwood History, Inc., said they plan to move forward with the event if they seal the partnerships. She said some of the BHSU Retail Marketing students volunteered to help with event promotion.
“The students helped us look at our properties with fresh eyes, and see the potential from the prospective of millennials,” said Speirs. “The exchange was beneficial to both sides, meaning the students seem to have a deeper appreciation and enthusiasm for our history, and we (DHI) learned how to better communicate with millennials and what the best approach would be.”
The BHSU students are looking forward to adding the experience to their resumes. Harris said she and her team now have proven experience helping to develop a marketing strategy, conduct research, and present a marketing plan.
Kylie Hall, mass communication major from Anchorage, Alaska, worked with two new entrepreneurs as they prepare to open businesses in downtown Spearfish. The entrepreneurs plan to open a music room and studio.
Hall said the entrepreneurs presented their foundational ideas to the class. She and her group then developed a business retail strategy using surveys, interviews, research, and evaluation of target markets in the local area.
“This project has given me the structural tools I can apply to future businesses I may work with,” said Hall. “Knowing how to evaluate competitors, markets, prices, promotions, and assigning theories to back up these findings could give me an advantage when talking with potential employers.”