The business department’s immersion program expanded last semester when Lee was granted the opportunity to work with Volkswagen.
Students hand-picked to work with the company went through over one hundred hours of training before they were teamed with a top executive or manager of the company the teams devoted between ten and twenty hours a week on-site completing various projects. At the end of the semester students presented their work to Volkswagen’s CEO Frank Fisher.
Dr. Guy DeLoach, the director of the immersion program, explains that, “the program is not for the faint of heart.” Although students receive class credit for the program, they are also considered to be the company’s employees. Their research and contributions have the potential to greatly impact the company’s efficiency.
Blaine Vanquez, a senior business administration major, was a team leader at Volkswagen last semester. His team’s research transformed the way that certain parts are shipped to Volkswagen.
“We were able to save VW money and increase the overall efficiency of their incoming parts,” said Vasquez.
Lee’s contribution to Volkswagen last semester went so well that the partnership has continued. Vanquez is helping at Volkswagen again this semester coaching and assisting new student teams as they work to accomplish a new set of project goals.
This hands-on approach to classroom concepts is an opportunity that benefits every entity involved. It has proven itself to be more than a temporary arrangement.
In the past six years, Lee has partnered with a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Since the program’s launch, partner corporations estimate that their partnerships with Lee students and faculty has saved them approximately $6.5 million.