SUNY Canton Management Major Presents on Senior Project as Business Venture
Other colleges can learn from SUNY Canton’s approach to applied entrepreneurial learning.
A SUNY Canton online Management major was able to apply his senior project coursework directly to his family reselling business.
Brent Whipple, who recently relocated from Cazenovia to Salt Lake City, Utah, is now championing his upper-level educational experience for other college students looking to expand their established businesses. He recently presented at a virtual Academy of Business Research conference session encouraging colleges to help students become entrepreneurs while they are still taking classes.
“The SUNY Canton Senior Project class can provide an invaluable opportunity for students that are interested in pursuing a personal venture while earning class credits,” Whipple said. “These hands-on experiences allow students to not only learn about business functions outside of the classroom, but also make money on their own accord.”
Whipple and his wife run a successful online resale business, which he used as a starting point to propel his studies. He suggests that other colleges could benefit from, and future students should consider, entrepreneurial options as part of their education. He suggested investigating opportunities that do not require substantial startup costs, including reselling, social media and video sponsorships, property care services, or photography.
“More colleges should promote and offer these senior projects,” he said. “They can empower students to pursue their entrepreneurial goals by offering a course or project that requires them to develop a comprehensive and realistic small business plan.”
Professor Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., who is the lead faculty member in SUNY Canton’s Management program, oversees the BSAD 410 Senior Project course specifically designed for entrepreneurs. Where it differs from traditional business courses is that the companies or enterprises are real rather than merely simulations.
“We have students run simulated businesses and make operational decisions in Management classes,” Fenner said. “In the senior project class, their motivation is no longer attached to just a grade. It’s about making a profit.”
The Management Professor said the course emphasizes enterprise resource planning, including time accounting and calculating contribution margins. As Whipple explained, the practices helped motivate him to see his business succeed and grow.
“Personally, I’m considering this reselling business as a career for my future but I will always at least have a side hustle to help pay the bills,” he said.
About the Academy of Business Research
The Academy of Business Research is an international society of scholars and practitioners who exchange ideas and collaborate in a conference setting. In the last decade, it has had participants from all 50 states and 49 different countries. Fenner and several other SUNY Canton Faculty members have presented at or submitted research to the organization in the past.
As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.