Senior consultants

(L-R) Todd Burke of Martin Automotive, Samuel Ulloa, Kelly Amundrud, Julie Sherman, Amelia Lagowski, Kyle Redstrom, Tammy Martin and Randy Martin.

By Elise Dismer ’13
December 12, 2011

Randy and Tammy Martin, owners of Martin Automotive in Washington, Ill., want a leg up on their competition, so they turned to Bradley’s senior consulting program for help.

“I want to make sure we are doing things the best we can, because that is obviously what makes you stand out,” Randy said.

This semester the Martins worked with seniors Kelly Amundrud, Amelia Lagowski, Kyle Redstrom, Julie Sherman, and Samuel Ulloa, a team of Foster College of Business Administration students in Dr. Brian Nagy’s senior consulting course. The team offered the Martins advice on how to grow their business, how to better compete in the automotive parts industry and how to improve numerous operational activities.

“It’s a great program,” said Amundrud, an accounting major. “It really adds to the learning experience at Bradley. It finishes off your college career here, while preparing you for the demands of the real world.”

At the end of the semester, Amundrud and her teammates will present their findings, analysis and recommendations to the Martins and Nagy through both oral and written presentations.

Collaborations between Bradley students and area businesses have been a cornerstone of the Foster College curriculum since the very early 1980s. The senior consulting program is one of the longest running strategic management senior consulting programs in the nation and boasts 100 percent participation from all senior students in the college.

“These students will soon be seeking jobs in an ever-competitive job market, a challenge they are uniquely prepared to take on thanks to experiential learning opportunities like the senior consulting project,” said Dr. Robert Scott, Interim Dean of the Foster College of Business Administration. “Our graduates enter the workforce having already collaborated with real-world clients toward successful, measurable results.”

The Martins are excited about the opportunity to better their business. “The best part about the project is having somebody else look at what you’re doing, to show you what you can improve,” Randy said.

And Amundrud appreciates knowing her coursework is not just theoretical. “It is really rewarding to see you are actually helping a real business,” she said.

For Amundrud, the most challenging part of the project is its application. 

“I know in theory what should happen,” she said, “but it is actually a lot harder to come up with real solutions for a real business.”

She believes the program sets Bradley and the Foster College of Business Administration apart from other business schools.

“Not many universities work with the outside community to come up with all these projects that have every single senior from the entire business college work with a company,” she said.

Martin agrees.

“It’s great,” he said. “It’s only going to better your business opportunities down the road. I think all area companies should consider this collaboration.”