In my Corporate Entrepreneurship course, we are working with companies located in Syracuse and conducting an Entrepreneurial Audit on their business (which is basically assessing how innovative/proactive the company is and how they could improve). My group is working with Dairylea, one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the Northeast, and so far the experience has been amazing. We regularly meet with the CEO and other high ranking individuals, and I have learned so much about an industry where I previously knew very little. We were invited to the expanded board meeting where we learned about the current state of the industry, and also got to meet with member farmers. The various perspectives were extremely interesting, and we learned a lot about how Dairylea works as well as how the company see themselves versus how the members value the services provided. (It was all very positive feedback!)
It is rare to gain such intimate access to a company, and the insight has been extremely beneficial. I have learned so much about dairy, cooperatives, entrepreneurship (or intrapreneurship) in practice, and how to apply new innovations to various industries that are not inherently thought of as entrepreneurial. This class has been the highlight of my course program so far, and Whitman and the class instructor, Professor McKelvie, have done an amazing job with it! I look forward to giving the final presentation to the company and to see if they incorporate our recommendations into their business practice.