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FIRST Step is Win-Win for Freshman Class and Community Organizations

November 30, 2011
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Business and art history student Talia Touboul created artwork for the March of Dimes "Building Our Community Awards"

Freshmen business students have been hard at work this semester putting together multimedia presentations, updating social networking sites, and doing other work for nonprofit organizations in the community as part of their FIRST Step course. FIRST (Freshman Integrity, Responsibility and Success through Teamwork) Step exposes students to business ethical principles, teamwork and the challenges that organizations face in the twenty-first century.

Student teams recently presented the projects they have been working on throughout the course of the semester for organizations such as March of Dimes and the Girl Scouts of South Florida. The projects included branding, social entrepreneurship, and business plan development. The required 15-week course (Management 100) offered students a real opportunity to give back to the community by using the skills and know-how learned in the classroom to solve the many business challenges these nonprofit organizations face.

“This is my third year teaching Management 100 and the students’ critical thinking and presentation skills get stronger each year,” said Mary Young, director of the Ziff Graduate Career Services Center and one of the course instructors. “It’s also wonderful to see many of these students taking their skills and leveraging them in other leadership positions on campus.”

Students who have been working with the March of Dimes created a brochure for the organization’s upcoming “Building Our Community Awards,” which will honor humanitarians and community activists, including Young. They also developed a PowerPoint presentation, which will be shown during the event.

“I genuinely enjoyed working on this project and working with a great organization like March of Dimes,” said business and art history student Talia Touboul, who drew the artwork, “Gift of Life,” for the program’s cover.

Students worked with the Girl Scouts of South Florida to create a promotional video

The students working with the Girl Scouts, took an innovative approach to the organization’s social media sites and improved its website by making it more teen-friendly. They also updated its Facebook and Twitter pages to reach a broader audience and created a promotional video for the South Florida chapter of the organization, which already has more than 200 views on YouTube.

“I was very impressed and very, very proud of these teams,” said Young. “They did great work.”

In addition to the project work, students attended lectures, analyzed case studies, and developed multi-media presentations on ethics and ethical decision-making in the business environment during the semester.

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