BGSU students launch new market research business

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The popular drama show CSI” follows investigators who study crime scenes. Business students from Bowling Green State University’s College of Business Administration have launched a business called CSI – short for College Student Insights – that studies something different from crimes and of keen interest to many companies: college students’ purchasing habits and behaviors. This target market is a very popular age group for companies wanting to sell their products and services. 

Not only is this a unique opportunity for business students to receive hands-on experience by operating a student-run business, but the students are being graded on it as part of their course, Marketing 4010, taught by Dr. David Reid, an associate professor of marketing.

The eight students “employed” by this business are currently working on getting all of the details in place. They are responsible for not only finding companies to do research for and creating CSI’s Web pages and advertising materials, but also finding students to participate in the various research projects and hiring students to insure the continuation of the business into future semesters.

There are a limited number of student-run businesses at universities throughout the U.S., but what makes this business launch at BGSU even more unusual is that it is tied to the academic curriculum. The student-run business opportunity will be part of a capstone experience for all business students before graduation at BGSU, offering employers graduates with outstanding job experience.

For advising students through the start-up process and the continued operation of CSI into future semesters, the student-run research company has a board of directors made up of BGSU faculty members and business executives from a variety of area companies.

According to CSI’s vice president of marketing, Meghan Hosmer, “Whether CSI thrives or falters and the grades the students will earn for the experience are intimately linked. It’s a huge responsibility, but offers students a learning experience that can’t be had from reading a book.”

For businesses interested in hiring CSI to conduct research projects into college students’ buying habits and behavior, contact Hosmer at mhosmer@bgsu.edu.

In addition to the CSI program, BGSU's College of Business has implementing a new, three-year Applied Business Experience into its curriculum, and has opened the nation's first Creativity Lab for business students, made possible through the support of Dr. Gene Poor, the Hamilton Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship, his wife, Ronnie, and alumnus Steven Hanson of Hanson, Inc.

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(Posted April 12, 2011 )