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Business students create social media plan for UHV SBDC

When Jun Yang, a University of Houston-Victoria associate professor of marketing, wanted to find a hands-on social media project for her senior students, she approached the UHV Small Business Development Center about finding a local business.

Jun Yang

Instead of recommending a business, the UHV SBDC offered to let the students taking Yang’s “E-Marketing” class create proposals for the center’s own social media accounts. The class of 27 was divided into six groups, and students spent the fall semester putting together proposals for the center’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. The winning team was chosen by the center’s staff and will have the opportunity to present its social media plan in April at the regional Small Business Association conference and attend the annual Victoria Leadercast event in May hosted by the SBDC.

“Before we could recommend the project to businesses, we wanted to test the waters with the SBDC’s own social media accounts, and the students’ projects did not disappoint,” said Whitney Schroeder, UHV SBDC training coordinator. “The different reports were excellent, and many of them clearly had a strong understanding of the center’s mission and resources. This definitely is something we plan to recommend to our clients.”

Whitney Schroeder

The students on the winning team were Michelle Flores of Houston and Amanda Hellwig, Carlos Morin and Michaela Winland, all of Katy. The team focused on finding simple, realistic ways to showcase the close, personal work that the UHV SBDC does with its clients, Flores said.

“Social media can reach some incredible, wide audiences, and it’s free, so it can be a major asset when a person knows how to use it,” Flores said. “There’s so much that can be done with something as simple as a hashtag.”

The students put together mock Facebook and Instagram pages during the semester as well as proposals that included plans for regular postings, types of posts to make and other details that could improve the center’s social media presence.

“We didn’t see a large social media presence from the UHV SBDC, so we looked at its regional organization and what it was doing with its social media,” Flores said. “We felt good about our work, but we didn’t really expect to win. We’re really proud of ourselves.”

Hands-on projects are an important part of the UHV School of Business Administration’s curriculum, Yang said. The school’s accreditation through AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business includes an emphasis on the importance of community engagement and bringing real-world experience into the classroom. AACSB International accredits less than 5 percent of business schools throughout the world.

“I’ve offered hands-on projects before, and the students always love the real-world experience,” Yang said. “I appreciate the SBDC’s support, and I look forward to working with the center and, hopefully, some local businesses for future projects.”

For more information, contact the UHV SBDC at 361-485-4485 or sbdc@uhv.edu.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities, and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.