Surprise scholarship

Jeff Olson, center, senior finance director for Reinhart Foodservice, congratulates students after announcing the $500 scholarship for 10 students in the Integrated Core Program.

Ten UWL students honored for their work with $500 scholarships at conclusion of College of Business Administration program project

When you do well in a college class, you expect to pass — maybe even get an A. Students in the College of Business Administration’s Integrated Core Program got more than that as they wrapped up their fall semester’s work. Ten students in the program each received a $500 scholarship from Reinhart Foodservice, the community client they assisted as part of a final project.

The awards, given to students who provided the strongest deliverables to Reinhart Foodservice, went out during an end-of-semester banquet celebrating the efforts and accomplishments of students in the program, as well as those who make the program possible such as community clients.

Jeff Olson, senior finance director for Reinhart Foodservice, made the surprise announcement of the awards at the banquet, noting he was impressed with the caliber of students in the program and the quality of the work they presented.

“This was a way to recognize these students and give back to the university. UWL has a huge talent base we tap into,” says Olson, who is also a 2003 alumnus. “We are hiring finance, accounting and IT professionals every year from UWL.”

Olson, a graduate of the Accountancy program, says his undergraduate experience was critical to his own career success.

Students were charged with helping solve two challenges for Reinhart as part of their program coursework. The first was doing research on the value of a diversity and inclusion program. The second was focused on employee engagement through an acquisition as Reinhart is currently in the process of being acquired.

Learning of the $500 award was “awesome” and “totally unexpected,” says UWL marketing major Roman Kryshak.

“I am so grateful to Reinhart Foodservice for allowing us to work with them. It’s has been a great experience,” says the UWL junior. “I feel very proud of myself and my teammates.”

Kryshak enjoyed the program that incorporated real business challenges and working with a local client.

The Integrated Core Program, in its seventh year at UWL, is a series of four core courses in Management, Finance and Marketing taught simultaneously to a cohort of 30 students over the course of a semester. The students use their diverse skills and apply their knowledge to come up with solutions to three complex problems, the final one engaging a community client. This semester’s courses were taught by Christa Kiersch, Management; Diana Tempski, Finance; and Maggie McDermott, Marketing. During the award banquet, multiple students praised these faculty members for their dedication to the program and students.

The program focuses on giving students experiences with critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, professional communication and leadership — preparing them for what lies ahead in the real world.