The newly created INvision AU program has announced the awarding of two $10,000 fellowships to two Anderson University student teams to help foster business development with local companies. Local companies working with the Anderson University student teams include Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS), a defense and security research and development company, and Nature's Emporium Soap Company, producing a broad line of all-natural soap products.
"The purpose of the Fellowship Award is to give AU students valuable work experience and an opportunity for permanent employment with the participating businesses, along with stimulating business growth within the local community," says Maryann Coty, director of INvision AU. Businesses participating in the Fellowship Award are committed to further developing their business, utilizing AU students to assist in the implementation of their new business development plan and the hiring of AU graduates. The Fellowship Award is a win-win situation for AU students, local businesses and for the Anderson community."
Students compete for the two Fellowship Awards and will work for the local businesses in assisting that business with the implementation of the new business development plan. As business performance increases within the organization, AU graduates will be offered permanent employment with the participating business. The Fellowships are scheduled to begin the first of the spring semester and will last for approximately one year.
INvision AU collaborates with AU programs, students, local government entities, and Indiana businesses in creating in-state job opportunities for AU graduates. Retention studies demonstrate that experiential learning is highly correlated with persistence to graduation. Furthermore, students who have engaged in deliberate outreach and built strong relationships with Indiana businesses are more likely to find their first job in Indiana, thereby increasing the state's skilled labor pool and effectively combating Indiana's brain drain. Under the program, Anderson University will implement a set of strategic initiatives organized through INvision AU.
Specific program components include:
- INvision Alumni. A network of more than 600 AU MBA graduates, 90 percent of whom work in Indiana, will serve as a resource for providing internships and job opportunities for AU students.
- INvision Internships Alliance. This collaboration between local businesses and AU students will create new internships in which students will receive invaluable hands-on learning experiences.
- INvision Community Team. A team of three students each summer will be supported to conduct an economic "Quality of Life Index" for a small Indiana town that lacks the resources for the process.
- SIFE INvision Awards. INvision AU will conduct an annual competition to support a local project undertaken by an AU team participating in SIFE, an international program promoting free enterprise.
- INvision Fellowships. Each year the program will provide two one-year fellowships, awarded competitively to a student/company team proposing a plan in which the student will have a major business development opportunity within the company.
- INvision Entrepreneurs. The program will provide start-up business funding for the winning business plan submitted by an AU junior or senior who plans to start a new business in Anderson.
Anderson University received $750,000 in 2003 from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc., for a proposal to provide students more opportunities and incentives to keep them in Indiana upon graduation. The grant came from the Endowment's "Initiative to Promote Opportunity through Educational Collaborations."
INvision AU is an education-based collaboration among Anderson University and job-creating entities, contributing directly to Indiana's innovation capacity and to creating "knowledge jobs." The activities and initiatives are also intended to strengthen and extend programs and relationships that enable Anderson University graduates to find highly desirable jobs in Indiana. For more information about INvision AU, visit the Web site at www.anderson.edu/INvision.
Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, nursing and theology.