Montana State University's College of Business is seeking local and regional businesses that would be willing to offer MSU management students practical business experience this fall and spring semesters in return for research, issue analysis or operational advice.

During the four-month course, students will help manage special consulting projects requested by area businesses, including such things as developing business or marketing plans, identifying business improvement opportunities, providing possible solutions to specific problem areas, working with either a portion of the organization or the entire business. Areas of focus include the market, competition, organization, operations, staffing, customer service, and financials. All types of businesses and service organizations are encouraged and welcome to be part of the class.

The students will be enrolled in "Management 475 Management Practicum," taught and managed by Gary Bishop, College of Business faculty member. The senior-level class has been a successful MSU program for more than 15 years.

Bishop explains how the program is profitable for the students and the businesses involved. "The students get the opportunity to make use of the tools and theory they have been absorbing in a real world practical, problem solving mode." Student teams are closely monitored with their work expected to be nothing but the highest quality . At the same time, he notes, "Businesses all over the state receive valuable problem-solving assistance at no cost."

Nicholas Bourdeau, treasurer of Montana Mediation Association (MtMA) commented on his overall satisfaction with the student team who worked with MtMA. "The team of students did an admirable job of not only defining the problem, but providing definitive solutions." At the conclusion of the students' presentation, Bourdeau stated, "there was a more or less a stunned silence."

The MSU College of Business is currently taking applications of businesses interested in participating in Management 475 during the fall and spring semesters. For more information or an application, contact Bishop at 994-4301, or email him at