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Jan. 5, 2018

Business, IT students ready to help local companies

More than 20 teams of Michigan State University undergraduate seniors are ready and waiting to help mid-Michigan businesses and nonprofits solve their digital problems.

As part of their final course in their information technology minor, students are required to work in cross-functional teams on a real-world project. They just need a few more “clients.”

Professors Constantinos Coursaris and Wietske van Osch, who are teaching the course through MSU’s Department of Media and Information, said students can take on a wide range of technology-related projects because each team will comprise students majoring in business, media and information, computer science, engineering and others. A short list of completed and successful projects follows:

Websites and Web Content Management Systems

Student teams designed and implemented content management systems for clients such as the Lansing Old Town Business and Arts Development Association, TechTown, Detroit’s research and technology development and the Woodward corridor.

Database and Workflow Systems

Student teams also help with “backend” office operations. For example, one team designed and implemented a new membership database for the Michigan Kiwanis Club using Microsoft Access and another team used Microsoft InfoPath to design and implement a workflow system for a petroleum distribution company.

Wireless Web Access

A student team created a prototype for the Oakland County Mobile Services system to format website information for smaller screens on mobile phones and PDAs.

Video Production

Students produced promotional videos and DVDs for clients ranging from St. Johns Public Schools to Walnut Hills Country Club.

Social Media Marketing

Students created a comprehensive social media strategy, initial presence and maintenance plan for Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub.

Coursaris and van Osch are now accepting proposals from area organizations (business, government or nonprofit) to have student teams take on projects for the spring 2018 academic semester, starting in early February and finishing at the end of April. The ideal project is “hands-on,” with a well-defined outcome that can be achieved by four students in eight to 10 weeks.

By: Constantinos Coursaris