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Student company spreads LV spirit

Michael Helmich and Fan Ningchuang answer University President Devorah Lieberman’s questions about T-Majik, the clothing company they created for their business practicum. The company was designed to appeal to the University of La Verne’s student culture and boost school pride. All profits from the shirts will be donated to children’s charities. / photo by Mitchell Aleman

Veronica Rodriguez
Staff Writer

Students of the College of Business and Public Manage­ment are the first to integrate the business practicum into their curriculum through their sale of school spirited apparel.

The students held a meeting on Nov. 16 to inform the faculty of the apparel they have been selling on campus.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome, this project is a great advantage to the students as they get to work with each of the departments,” said Abe Helou, dean of the College of Business and Public Manage­ment.

The “dream team,” as they have been nicknamed by professors in the department, is comprised of five students: Michael Helmich, Jimmy Fan, Annette Covarrubias, Kevin Dowell and Tappan Patel.

Each student had a personal responsibility: Covarrubias was in charge of sales; Fan worked finances, Helmich was president, Dowell handled marketing and Patel focused on operations.

The cotton T-shirts display University pride and are designed by local artists. The prices range from $14 to $16 each.

Five professors of the Public Management College visited the Greater Expectation Institute in Nashville and were inspired to develop a business curriculum where students could experience a hand on business piece.

The integrated business curriculum includes marketing, business finance, management and practicum.

The dream team is the first at La Verne to participate in the program.

The group has developed a company aimed at creating unique and innovative T-shirts for college students while also empowering local artists.

“This project is very unique and it could be used to show other students what could be done, we are the guinea pigs,” junior business major Michael Helmich said.

The team had to develop tools to market their merchandise through means such as establishing social media channels, making flyers and posters creating surveys via surveymonkey.com and creating buzz around campus.

The funds for the company, which is operating under the University’s name, acquired a loan from California Bank and Trust. The student company is responsible for paying the loan back. However, the group has already broke even and will be able to pay off the loan and make a profit.

Profits from the T-shirts will go to David & Margaret Youth Family Services and to the Leroy Hanes Center.

The T-shirts have been sold at football games, Preview Day and during special events at the University and will continue to be sold at campus events.

“We are very excited that we are the first to initiate this project,” junior business major Tappan Patel said.

The project will continue to grow as new students join the program and will be available to traditional undergraduate students.

Veronica Rodriguez can be reached at veronica.rodriguez4@laverne.edu.

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