A Heady Blend of Experiential Learning
Working directly with a client is a common occurrence for students in the Sawyer Business School; last fall’s experience with George Howell Coffee was particularly hands on for students in the “Customer Insights and Decision Making” course.
President and Founder George Howell came to one of the first classes to talk to the students. And during what’s called a cupping event—where students did a deep-dive tasting—COO Rebecca Fitzgerald answered dozens of questions from students on numerous topics: the vendors George Howell Coffee uses, the farmers who grow their beans, who designed their interiors, what are the busiest times of day, the industry as a whole. In addition, the students ran actual focus groups, conducted real surveys, and did hours of primary and secondary research. It was all in keeping with the immersive, real-world vibe of the course.
“Through the questions we asked Rebecca, I was able to find out more about the tactics that they’re currently doing, like collaborations with other brands,” said Jaliyah Jones-Robinson, BSBA ’18. “And that gave us other collaboration ideas that we can take back to her.”