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Virginia Tech business students step into real-world projects


GE and other businesses learn new ways to use business technology from Pamplin College of Business students. Business information technology students explain their Web project for Rolling Fork Farms to visitors from GE at the senior showcase event in Pamplin Hall this past spring.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 7, 2011 – Seniors in the Pamplin College of Business take their learning beyond the classroom by working with corporate giants like GE and local micro businesses like Rolling Fork Farms in Floyd. The projects, in which they use websites and software to give these organizations a boost, are some of the reasons Virginia Tech business information technology students highly sought after by recruiters.

The class-designed website and software projects will be showcased in the Pamplin Hall Atrium during the University Open House on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The public can view some of the website and software projects, and meet some of the faculty and students involved. The group even invites attendees to propose projects for the next class.

“The quality of work that is showcased by these business information technology seniors has continued to impress us throughout the semester,” noted Vishnu Thyagarajan, information technology program manager of capital markets and corporate insurance at GE, referring to last spring’s projects. “Each group successfully has tackled a real-world problem of digitizing a manual process by using today’s technologies and standards. It has been a pleasure to work with these seniors and to be a part of the next generation of IT leaders.”

The client projects allow students to put to work software discussed during the course, which provides a comprehensive study of support systems as managerial tools, particularly in an e-commerce environment.

Last year, students worked on projects for GE; Blacksburg snow and skateboard merchant, Greenhouse Boardshop; and the Floyd-based companies Rolling Fork Farms and Wild Hill Burial Boxes.

“It emphasizes problem solving through integrating various quantitative techniques and practical application of e-business technology,” said Alan Abrahams, an assistant professor of business information technology, who has been teaching the course for four years.

Pamplin faculty and staff also will be available to highlight the college's study-abroad and international internship programs, student-organized workshops on workplace diversity, and a new student-run social media program for the college.

Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. Pamplin emphasizes technology and analysis that improve business, entrepreneurship that leads to innovation and innovative companies, international opportunities for learning and research, and an inclusive, collaborative community. It is named in honor of two alumni: the late Robert B. Pamplin, retired chairman of Georgia-Pacific, and businessman, author, and philanthropist Robert B. Pamplin Jr.