Real-life experience

(l-r) Winnie Patta, Matt Howard, Ceecee A. Williams and Valerie Brodowski.

Kennesaw State business students ‘hired’ as consultants by Pinetree Country Club…

Georgia (Jul 25, 2011)

Kennesaw State business students ‘hired’ as consultants by Pinetree Country Club  

Six students at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University are gaining valuable experience as management consultants before they even graduate.

The six undergraduates were invited to develop a comprehensive market plan last spring for the Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw. The students surveyed members and club leaders, reviewed income statements, analyzed demographic data by ZIP code, conducted a market study and compared the club’s finances to other clubs in the area, said professor James Wermert.

Valerie Brodowski, an accounting major who graduated in May, said she and other studentsprovided detailed information about the club’s target market, such as exactly how far people were willing to drive to the club, members’ dining preferences and desired amenities.

I analyzed eight years of financial statements, calculated key financial ratios and benchmarks and created pro forma financial statements,” she said. “I loved that I did not have a set of materials to use like I would in other classes.  All of my course materials were real data such as financial statements or notes that were conducted from interviews. It was up to me to decide what data was important and how I wanted to analyze it.”

The students eventually put together a PowerPoint presentation with recommendations that was shown to club leaders.

“It was very rewarding,” Jason Harris, a business management major who will graduate this summer, said of the project. “It helped us apply many of the principles we learned at Kennesaw State.”

The club’s general manager, Barbara Jodoin, said the students did a “very professional” job with little oversight.

“Their work has given us a true picture of what is important to our members, where we should focus our future marketing dollars and the validation that family activities and youth programs are necessary to the future of our club,” she said.

This kind of project has previously been handled by MBA students. In recent years, MBA students helped MUST Ministries and the Cobb Symphony Orchestra -- now called the Georgia Symphony Orchestra -- develop business plans.

-- Ralph Ellis



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit