Innovating Through Crisis
Coyote Business Consulting Group Wraps Up Successful First Year
Fifty-two University of South Dakota students gained real-world experience by consulting for 26 South Dakota businesses affected by COVID-19, offering strategy, analysis and insight through the new Beacom School of Business Coyote Business Consulting Group.
Many of South Dakota’s businesses felt the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and were left in uncharted territories, struggling to stay afloat. USD students found themselves without internships or summer jobs because they were delayed or canceled. Recognizing a need, Beacom School of Business created the Coyote Business Consulting Group to address both problems, and the results were dynamic.
Beacom students were put in teams of two and were advised by 13 business professors. Projects were in the fields of marketing, management, data analytics, accounting, finance, health services administration and human resources. They gained experience in multiple dimensions of the business world, including market research, business planning, budget analysis, business analytics, strategic planning, project management, peer-to-peer learning, working on a high-performance team and working within the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help fund the program, Beacom received a $65,000 federal grant through the South Dakota’s Small Business Development Center to pay student and faculty advisor stipends for their work.
In This Issue
Small businesses are a critical building block to the economy of any state. In South Dakota, 99% of all businesses meet the definition of a small business and are responsible for almost 60% of the employment in the state.
It seems fitting that in January 2020 the Beacom School of Business launched its first virtual Executive Education program and within months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that modality became the only way education could be delivered.
The Beacom School of Business’ commitment to student success is reflected in its many innovative engagements. A new initiative launched last year at Beacom aims to provide students with industry executive mentors to bolster student success even further.