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Unlocking the Entrepreneurial Mindset: Flores MBA Class Transforms Students Into Startup Consultants

Newsroom | Articles July 18, 2023
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With the record-setting trend of new venture startups nationwide, it's more crucial than ever for existing organizations to think like startups.  
The Flores Online MBA Program offers a class where students are taught to do just that– think like an entrepreneur by creating value within an organization. Entrepreneurial Consulting (BADM 7270) is a practical learning course offered as an elective and taught by faculty member Steven Perret.   
The course takes students from textbook lessons to actual entrepreneurial consulting engagements with CEOs of small startups in the local business community. Students utilize knowledge gained throughout the Flores Online MBA Program, such as operations management, accounting, marketing, and strategy, to provide business owners with deliverables that address a current opportunity or challenge. Perret believes that students gain invaluable insight into what it takes to run a successful business.  
“In this course, students take a closer look at the dynamic nature of entrepreneurship, deepening their understanding of how CEO decisions influence organizational success. By leveraging a range of knowledge acquired throughout the program, students develop the skills necessary to create value and effectively navigate tomorrow's competitive business landscape,” said Perret. 
Outside the classroom, Perret serves as President/CEO of Lettermans, a printing and graphics company based in Baton Rouge, LA. His experience leading a business offers a unique combination of practical and academic viewpoints on entrepreneurship, allowing for a relevant learning experience that benefits the students and the participating CEOs. 

From Online MBA Students to Business Consultants 

For the fall 2022 semester, students worked with a variety of local small businesses, including IFIXBAX and Synergistic Hearing.  

IFIXBAX is a chiropractic clinic located in Prairieville, Louisiana, owned and operated by Dr. Shelli Signorelli. The scope of work for Dr. Signorelli included a customer acquisition and retention marketing plan, a detailed competitive analysis, and a comprehensive website and social media review. Students met with the CEO weekly to learn more about the organization, dig deeper into key issues, and develop content for the final deliverable.   
“ I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with the Flores MBA students. They highlighted areas in my business I had overlooked while working each day to build my practice. Implementing the strategies suggested by the team will be a game-changer. My favorite part was they truly listened to what was important to me and worked that into the plan, said Signorelli. ” 
In business, there are many variables that a business owner can control, but external variables, such as the legal environment, are not always within the entrepreneur’s control. That was the case with Amber Moreau at Synergistic Hearing. Recent legislation passed gave big box stores the ability to sell specific hearing products previously offered only in specialty clinics, often small privately-owned ones. Our students began working with Moreau to identify how they could help her improve her business, and the result was to develop a strong value proposition to redefine why consumers of hearing products should choose Synergistic Hearing over other options, specifically big box options. In preparation for developing the value proposition, students prepared a comprehensive competitive analysis and conducted a detailed website and social media review to better understand her competitive position.   
“I was extremely impressed with the MBA students’ genuine interest not only in their assignment but in actually helping me with my small business. The overall professionalism, presentation, and follow-through were exceptional! The execution of their proposal delivery covered exactly what we had discussed, which was so refreshing.  I even had students follow up afterward to help put into action the very practices they had recommended,” said Moreau. 
Students have a lot of flexibility in this course, but they are ultimately responsible for communicating with the CEO, identifying an opportunity or challenge, and creating a scope of work that defines the expectations, specific tasks, deliverables, and timeline of the consulting agreement. This document serves as the guiding instrument for measuring performance against project goals throughout the module.   
“BADM 7270 was one of the most beneficial classes I have ever taken. It allowed me to gain real-world experience that made me feel more prepared for my career and graduation. In this class, I was able to solve real problems, work within a team, and learn how to effectively communicate business problems and solutions in a focused environment,” said Emerson Goldman, LSU Flores MBA Student. 

Earn a Nationally Recognized MBA from LSU – 100% Online 

The mission of the LSU Flores MBA Program is to remain competitive in the national and regional markets while fostering learning, leadership, and networking in a global business environment. Through the Flores Online MBA, you'll gain the flexibility to pursue a nationally recognized degree from anywhere in the world. Unlock your potential, gain real-world experience, and enhance your problem-solving and communication skills with LSU! Get started today!  

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