Why should I sponsor a team for the Senior Experience?
By participating in the Senior Experience program, you get an unbiased team of motivated, capable “consultants” to work for you. The students will focus on an important, difficult problem or project at your organization. You not only have a capable team of 4 or 5 students working on an important problem, but you can experience future business graduates in the real world setting of your workplace. In addition to these pragmatic goals, you will also be achieving the more philanthropic goal of working with Cal State San Marcos to provide students with an innovative and relevant business education.
What are the costs associated with the Senior Experience Program?
There is a charge of $1,500 for each project selected. Payment is expected at the time a team is assigned.
Participating organizations are also expected to cover significant expenses for items that might be required for the students’ project. For example, the sponsoring organization would be expected to pay for things such as a software program that was required for a project but wasn’t currently available at the sponsoring organization or the University, extraordinary travel that was beyond the students’ ordinary means but was required by the project, and so on.
What is the duration of the Senior Experience projects?
The program is designed to take place in the students’ final semester. There are two different sequences. Students’ interaction with their sponsoring organization in the Fall semester will primarily occur from September until December. Students’ interaction with their sponsoring organization in the Spring semester will primarily occur from February until May.
What kind of projects is the Senior Experience Program looking for?
We would like projects that require creative problem solving and provide good educational experiences for our students. We are especially interested in projects that involve accounting, information technology, international business, and finance related issues.
Can my organization propose more than one project?
We often have sponsoring organizations submit more than one project. Submitting several projects that appeal to a range of student interest areas increases the likelihood that a student team will select one of the projects.
Will each team be comprised entirely of students studying in the same area (e.g., Accounting only) or will each team be interdisciplinary?
Teams are created that are best suited for each project, but we always try to have at least some breadth of talent, experience and major area on each team.
How much time are the student teams expected to spend on this project?
Each student is expected to spend approximately 15 hours each week outside of meeting with their Faculty Supervisor.
What are the students expected to do during these hours outside of class?
This time will be spent doing a number of things, which could include: meeting with key employees from the sponsoring organization to complete the project, observing the operations of the organization and collecting data, reading up on the sponsoring business and industry in the library, working alone at home on a portion of the project, meeting with the other team members to work on the project, working in the computer labs on campus to complete the project, and so on. The students will have to decide where and when they need to work outside of class time.
For the hours spent working outside of class time, will the student have to “clock in” and “clock out” at the business in which they are completing the project?
No, this is not intended to be like an internship, where the student would have a set schedule of hours that they work, as would the permanent employees of that organization. Since the team of students is the equivalent of a team of consultants for your organization, we expect them to act and be treated like consultants. The students must decide when, how, and for how long they actually spend time on-site at your company.
How much time will I have to spend with the team of students?
As explained above, the team of students is to behave like a team of independent consultants. You will meet with the team as necessary during the life of the project to provide guidance as needed. As the primary contact person, you are likely to meet about once a week for the initial few weeks, but the meetings may become less frequent as the team becomes familiar with your organization, its personnel, and with the problem or project under study. We want to encourage you to spend a sufficient amount of time with the students to help provide them with a first-rate educational experience.
How do I sign up my organization for a Senior Experience project?
If you would like to submit an application to sponsor a Senior Experience team, please click here. Submissions are due no later than July 31 for the Fall semester and November 30 for the Spring semester.