Students in field

Finlandia students compete in THE Project 2016 state-wide project management competition

April 15, 2016

Students from Finlandia University's THE Project team pose for a photo in Grand Rapids at the competition.

For the second time Finlandia University participated in THE Project 2016, a project management competition sponsored by the Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute. This year’s competition featured 12 teams from eight Michigan universities. All teams spent the spring semester developing a project plan aimed at solving or improving a major challenge facing the state of Michigan.  This year the task of all the participating teams was to select a county in Michigan and devise a plan to promote health and prevent and control major chronic diseases and their risk factors for children in Michigan. The project was sponsored by Spectrum Health.

Logo for THE ProjectThis year’s Team Finlandia members were business students Kirsten Berg, a junior majoring in Accounting, Theresa Wolf, a junior majoring in International Business, Mary Joan Maloney, a senior majoring in HealthCare Management, Sarah Lutz, a senior majoring in Nursing and Gerad Ekdahl, a senior majoring in Nursing.

As part of the project, the team met regularly, via WebEx, with two mentors: Brian Maas, Manager of Supply Chain Quality for Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and Stephenie Young, Program Manager for Patient and Family Services also at Spectrum Health.

“What a great experience this is for our students to be competing against other universities in a state-wide competition,” said Kevin Manninen, dean of the business school.

“This was a very valuable experience, I would recommend it to any student,” Berg said. “You learn so much that cannot be learned in a typical classroom situation. Working with professional mentors gives you the opportunity to network yourself and learn about a field that many people do not know about. Even though the project can be very time consuming and a ton of work, it is probably the most valuable experience I have had in college, therefore making it 100 percent worth it.”

The project concluded on April 11 with the students and Manninen heading to Grand Rapids for the competition day. The day included final presentations to a panel of judges, keynote speakers, a reverse career fair and awards ceremony.

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