[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1500″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1434227240482{margin-top: 20px !important;}”]by Caleb Tower, Hilltop News

Graduating students of the Hoff School of Business (HSB) had the opportunity to present their senior thesis, Corban Consulting Partners (CCP), in front on an audience comprised of community business leaders and their peers on Thursday, April 24 at Corban’s Psalm Performing Arts Center.

Griff Lindell, HSB’s dean, said the project allows business students to demonstrate what they have learned, and explained that the implications are far reaching.

“The purpose of CCP is for Corban to build a brand by educating Christians to make a difference in the world,” Lindell said. “This promise equips Christians for busi­ness and shows that these students are a cut above, while representing Jesus Christ with their lives, atti­tudes and work ethic.”

During the 13 weeks of class time leading up to the event, students were placed into teams, consisting of three to four students, and were tasked with analyzing a problem a local business was dealing with and then providing recommendations on how to resolve the problem. Each team worked with a mentor, a business leader in the community, who collaborated with the teams and helped them identify possible solutions.

The CCP event included presentations by 11 different teams, the most in the history of the event. During their presentations, the teams were judged by representatives from 25 companies. The judges scored the teams on four main criteria: professionalism, which includes aspects of delivery and appearance; how well they express the under­standing of the “need” of the business; how viable the solution is; and the presentation’s overall impact.

The CCP event was not only a chance for students to express what they learned through their project. It also was a way for students to gain exposure to and make an impact on representatives from local businesses—in hopes of finding employment after graduation. Through the process HSB students connected with 47 companies.

“Students have gotten jobs with businesses who watched them and liked the way they performed,” Lindell said. “It’s like a showcase of sorts.”

Several students received awards during the CCP event. One of the winners was Brooke Meador, who received the Joshua-Barnabas award, which is presented to a student who has successfully balanced the characters of Joshua, God’s chosen implementer of His plan for children of Israel occupy the Promised Land, and Barnabas, whose encouraging spirit motivated those around him.

“When I saw Bryce Petersen win the award in 2013,” Meador said, “I literally thought to myself, ‘I don’t think I could do that!’ But the Lord is constantly shaping us and molding us into the people He wants us to be. He has used my time at Corban University as a major part of that process.”

Joshua Mack won the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) award as the top performing accounting student graduating from HSB.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” he said, “and I look forward to expanding my accounting knowledge even further as I start working full-time at Acumen Financial.”

The team that received the highest scores from the judges received an award for Most Outstanding CCP Presentation, which was announced Thursday, April 30. The winning team—Danielle Buechley, Victoria Cole and Scott Dreier—worked with Incite Inc.-National Training Center.

While Cole felt all of the teams had strong presentations, she believes one aspect may have given her team a slight edge over the others.

We had a really good story to tell with faces they [the judges] could see and a story they could get behind, so they could really see the need for our project,” she said. “We were also really lucky because we three were like-minded and really worked well together.”

Three-time CCP Judge Ken Marshall, a licensed broker with Vintage Realty Northwest, was impressed how the overall quality of student presentations continues to improve each year.

“It was evident that the students are receiving an excellent education on the real world business environment, take their assignments seriously, and are prepared to contribute immediately wherever the Lord may call them into His service,” he said.

Lindell also gave high praise to the clients, judges and students alike.

“I’m impressed with the client ‘partner’ companies, who willingly donate their time and expertise to partner with HSB to teach these students about business,” he said. “I am always impressed with the judges, who donate their time and business experience to listen and then ask some penetrating questions. As always, I’m impressed by the Corban students, who demonstrate well what they have learned during their time at Corban.

“This was the best overall year since I have been at Corban,” Lindell added. “All the teams had stage presence, good speaking skills, and crisp presentations. I was pleased and proud of their ability to present their consulting cases so well.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]