Tag Archives: business consulting

CSUF Consulting Team Places Third in National Competition!

CSUF Consulting Team with their client Open Castings

CSUF Consulting Team with their client Open Castings (we do not currently have names for the two people on the left of this picture but going from third from left we have Bob Godlasky (mentor), Jonny May ’17, Chad Armstrong ’17, Will Taormina, Bill Taormina, Mary Cho ’17, Trevor Heath, and Rachel Herzog ’18)

Late last week we found out that one of our CSUF Consulting teams placed third in a major national competition!

The team was awarded this prestigious award for their diligent work developing a comprehensive marketing plan for their client, Open Castings (which has on its team alumni and donors to the Center for Entrepreneurship Will and Bill Taormina as well as Trevor Heath). On the CSUF Consulting team were Chad Armstrong ’17, Mary Cho ’17, Jonny May ’17, and Rachel Herzog ’18. Their mentor was Bob Godlasky and their professor was John Bradley Jackson.

The client was Open Castings, an online platform that makes it easy for actors to audition for roles and casting directors to find the best candidate. Its unique value proposition was to allow actors to use a smartphone to submit an audition tailored to a specific role. This gives actors and directors the freedom to submit and screen auditions at times most convenient for them, saving time and money,” explains Rachel Herzog. She continued, The purpose of the consulting project was to help Open Castings better understand their customer and build a go-to-market strategy. The scope of work included customer interviews and surveys, a feasibility study, business model development, a competitive analysis, and a customer acquisition growth strategy.”

Throughout the semester the team worked in close concert with their client, which as Chad Armstrong notes, is a tremendous benefit for the overall quality of the project:

Our client was ideal. Will Taormina was attentive, motivating, and a great communicator. We had a terrific give and take with him. He listened to our ideas and/or questions, absorbed them, and often took action on the spot, making phone calls, finding information, scheduling meetings, or doing whatever it took to give us the best chance for success. Will was gracious with his time and resources. He attended class regularly and often brought surprises like a basket of cookies or progress updates based on the action he and his team took from our input. Little things like that may not seem like a lot but they gave us energy and motivated us to do even more than we thought we could.

The team’s mentor, Bob Godlasky, concurred with Chad’s assessment but he also highlighted the superlative nature of the team commenting, “Over my 44 year business leadership career I measured my men and women on a bell curve trying to assess their; intelligence, motivation, and interpersonal skills. I would rate Rachel, Mary, Chad and  Jonny in the top decile of all management people I’ve known in my lifetime.”

The CSUF Consulting program works with more than 100 clients every year to develop comprehensive strategic plans in a number of different areas including marketing, operations, and finance. Clients come from all kinds of industries and in all sizes but they all come with a common goal in mind: growth.

We are currently in the process of recruiting growth-minded clients for the summer and fall sessions. If you or a business you know of could benefit from having a CSUF Consulting team like the nationally acclaimed one in this article then please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at 657-278-8243 or by emailing her at cymedina@fullerton.edu. Charlesetta will help walk you through the CSUF Consulting process and determine how one of our teams can help your business grow.


Keep in touch with the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider:

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship:

New Beginnings for CSUF Entrepreneurship – CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider

Two of the CSUF Consulting teams in Dr. Atul Teckchandani’s class were recently featured in the Orange County Register! And that’s Atul in the picture.

The CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider is our way of communicating with the whole of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community en masse, every week. Normally, these communiques come out every Monday but that’s obviously not always the case.

Anyways, this Insider focuses on making new beginning for the new year. Since it’s 2018 (It’s already 2018?!), now is the time to make a new beginning for your business. And that’s where a CSUF Consulting team… well, you can read more about that in the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider below.

This week is the start of the spring semester at Cal State Fullerton and while there’s a lot that’s the same I feel that with each semester comes many new beginnings.
For us, one of our new beginnings will be the opening of our second CSUF Startup Incubator office with this one being on the Cal State Fullerton Irvine campus. There are still a couple of hurdles that we will have to overcome before we can officially use that space but soon, I hope really soon!, we will have a permanent office out of which to work with creative entrepreneurs and enthusiastic students.
I’m sure that the new year has brought many new beginnings to members of our community as well and if you are an entrepreneur with an existing business and one of your resolutions for the year is to improve your business then I think that we can absolutely help you achieve that goal!
As the Orange County Register recently found out, our CSUF Consulting teams can produce a great deal of value for our clients in a number of ways.
I hope you can read the whole article but one of the more important points that the article made was that our students are at their best when they are looking for the root causes of the problems that our clients are facing.
An example of this from the article was our client who was having difficulties maintaining millenial employees. Our client knew that this was a problem and wanted to find a solution for it but she did not know where to start. The team did a combination of in-person interviews and extensive secondary research to help them pinpoint the root causes of this problem, which they used to craft a custom and actionable strategic plan for the client. Needless to say, she was very happy with the result and is in the process of enacting the plan and giving her business a new beginning for 2018.
Would you like one of our student teams to find a solution for your most pressing issues? We are looking for a few more clients for the spring semester. We will be closing our recruitment window very soon – probably by the end of next week at the latest – and if you or a business that you know of could benefit from the insights and legwork that our students can do for you please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at 657-278-8243 or by emailing her at cymedina@fullerton.edu for more information.
John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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Getting New Things Done with CSUF Entrepreneurship

In this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider (sign up to get this newsletter delivered to your email box every week) Director John Bradley Jackson highlights the new book by Professor David Obstfeld: Getting New Things Done. Getting new things done requires people to work together towards a common goal and for businesses that means developing new ideas and creative solutions. The CSUF Consulting program is designed to help business do this and we are currently accepting applications from businesses now for the fall semester. Read ahead to find out how to apply.

Getting New Things Done is CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor David Obstfeld’s new book published by Stanford University Press. In this book, David lays out a framework for how new things are accomplished and he cites many examples of this process in action. It’s a thoroughly researched work and it definitely has value for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of how innovation happens.

One of the key insights from David’s book is that innovators do not operate in a vacuum. Innovations need support to take hold and that support can come in many different ways. Take, for example, the CSUF Consulting program. We work with dozens of businesses every semester to help them develop innovative solutions for their toughest problems. Whether the difficulty lies in their marketing plan, operations, accounting systems, or their company’s culture, our teams of students are able to create actionable solutions for our clients.

We are recruiting clients for the fall semester right now and if you or a business that you know could benefit from working with one of our CSUF Consulting teams please give Project Client Specialist Charlesetta Medina a call at (657) 278-8243 for more information on how one of our consulting teams can help you get new things done.


John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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CSUF Consulting Projects are Special

CSUF Consulting Team Clear Vision with their professor Scott Sorrell (front left)

CSUF Consulting Team Clear Vision with their professor Scott Sorrell (front left)

As you will read in this week’s CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider, our CSUF Consulting projects are special. I’ve worked on these projects as a student, mentor, and as a client so I know our program from just about every vantage point possible and I can safely say that they provide tremendous value for all involved, especially for the clients of our program. For a comparatively small consulting fee, clients receive a comprehensive plan that targets a particular part of their company and while most clients believe their number one need to be marketing or sales I can tell you that some of our greatest successes come from projects that focus on other areas like leadership, operations, or finance.

Also, we do have an event in Placentia this week focusing on how entrepreneurs should be leveraging social media to their benefit. Social media is now a well entrenched part of the normal marketing mix and it’s just one of the many things that our CSUF Consulting teams can help established businesses with and the CSUF Startup Incubator can help startups with.

Director Jackson is on a well deserved two week vacation so he asked me (Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Lindsay) to fill in for this week’s CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider newsletter. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

This Wednesday at 6pm in Placentia we are hosting a talk on how entrepreneurs can be using social media more to their advantage. It is definitely an important topic and I hope you can make it; I’m certain you will learn a lot from the speaker, Jessica Joy Reveles.

Having a good social media plan is a must for any business but it is only a part of the overall marketing mix. More needs to be considered and planned for and that is exactly what Professors like Scott Sorrell do every semester with their CSUF Consulting teams. In one of our recent articles, we interviewed Scott to find out exactly what our clients can expect from an engagement with one of our teams:

“There are several branches of marketing initiatives that these teams can research and develop. These marketing initiatives that the teams develop for their clients can range from developing a new website, to creating a public relations campaign for the company, to assisting with an entire marketing plan for the organization, and much more. Every project is unique and custom built.”

Having worked on dozens of these projects as a student, a mentor, and as a client I can personally vouch for how special these projects are. For clients, a CSUF Consulting team can unearth many opportunities that they otherwise would never have known about. Take, for example, Andrew Lee. He was one of our clients from the recently concluded spring semester who found out how special our projects can be firsthand.

“They took [the project] as far [as they possibly could], as if they were a partner with my group. That was great!”

Incidentally, we are now recruiting clients for the fall semester for our CSUF Consulting program. If you know of a company or have a company that could benefit from one of these projects please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at cymedina@fullerton.edu or (657) 278-8243.


Travis Lindsay
Entrepreneur in Residence
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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CSUF Consulting Teams Finish Second, Third in National Competition

CSUF Consulting Helps Small Business

Every year, the CSUF Consulting program works with over 100 clients to help them improve their businesses in a number of key ways, including: Marketing, Operations, Finance, Accounting, and General Strategy. From these projects we enter one undergraduate and one MBA project into a national consulting competition for universities. Out of the hundreds of universities who entered this competition both of our teams finished in the Top 3 in their categories!

Dr. Lorenzo Bizzi’s MBA Capstone team took home the second place prize in the Graduate Comprehensive Project category, which means they did a comprehensive review of their client’s business and created a general strategy report for them based off of their observations and research. This is the first Top 3 finish for Dr. Bizzi; his team consisted of: Jennifer Pueblo, Rossana Alvarez, Hanisha Balani, Amber Soares, Leo Lee, and Bown Guan and their client was Orange County Fair and Events Center.

This was an invaluable experience which not only exposed the team to the world of consulting, but also helped to create and cement life-long professional and personal contacts. Access to Dr. Bizzi’s knowledge and expertise served as an instrumental force to focus and guide our consulting project which in the end, validated everything we learned but may not be able to be fully utilized in our day-to-day careers,” said MBA team member Rossana.

CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson’s marketing consulting team took the third place honors in the Undergraduate Specialized portion of the competition, which means that the team did an intensive review of their client’s current marketing efforts and created a strategic plan on how to achieve the goals as set out by the client. This is the fifth time that one of Professor Jackson’s teams have finished in the Top 3 since he has been teaching at Cal State Fullerton and his team consisted of: Stacy Goldstein, Emma Osman, Johnathon Veta, Andrew Goclowski, Tristan Schmitt, and Jenny Frolova; Curtis Chan, founder of Chan & Associates and Cognitive Impact, was their mentor.

“Collaboration was the key to this project. Our client was the Fullerton College Foundation and they were open to the students working with them to develop an in-depth marketing strategy plan for them to increase the volume of donations coming in. On our end, the team worked very hard and I am proud of their report and the fact that they did so well in the competition,” said Director Jackson.

Stacy Goldstein, one of the students working on the undergraduate project with Professor Jackson, had this to say about her experience working on this project: “For me, the best value I got out of doing the project was working with a great team. A lot of students, myself included, dread the “evil” group projects. While I can’t claim to have ever had a truly terrible team in my academic career, I can boast this team was the best. A positive group project experience like that in an academic setting is so very rare, and I’m glad to have experienced it.”

This competition is hosted by the Small Business Institute (SBI), a national organization that promotes and supports universities in employing high impact practices in their courses like consulting projects. Including these two teams, the CSUF Consulting program has now finished in the Top 10 of the SBI National competition 31 times. We’re looking forward to many more wonderful projects and many more exemplary clients like the ones we worked with for years to come.

[03/21/17 Edit: Added in quote by MBA team member Rossana Alvarez and included her name on the list of students on the MBA team]


For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive: http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

CSUF Consulting is the Creative Solution

CSUF MBA 2nd Place Finishing TeamCreativity is the lifeblood of business and a CSUF Consulting team is the perfect way to inject some creativity into your business. All businesses can benefit from a fresh perspective and our teams are adept at finding solutions where most others would not have even looked.

And please make sure to sign up for the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider to make sure that you do not miss any of the events or news that is important to the CSUF Entrepreneurship community.

Every year, more than 100 businesses harness the creativity of Cal State Fullerton’s students to develop comprehensive strategic plans that can be used to make dramatic improvements to core parts of their business.

Clients have utilized the recommendations from their CSUF Consulting teams to develop a robust customer retention program, save money by going green, align company culture with strategic initiatives, and in many other ways. Working with a CSUF Consulting team is a key way businesses can proactively take charge of their future instead of reacting to events.

One of the key differentiators of the CSUF Consulting program is its combination of creativity and wisdom. Each CSUF Consulting team has four to six upper division students or MBA candidates, a supervising professor, and a mentor for undergraduate teams.

The students effuse creativity in everything they do. Armed with the knowledge they are learning in their studies and unburdened by years of doing things a certain way they are able to come up with solutions where others would not have even looked.

Wisdom is not discounted, however, and is amply supplied for by the professors and mentors in our program. They provide balance to our teams and keep projects focused on the main goal: producing excellent recommendations for our clients.

Chances are, you know a business that would be a great fit for the CSUF Consulting program. You might even have a business that could benefit from the creative thinking that is the hallmark of our program. If so, please get in touch with our Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina by calling her at (657) 278-8243 or by sending an email to entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu to request more information.


John Bradley Jackson
Director & Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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CSUF Entrepreneurship Client Recruiting Season is now Open

CSUF Business ConsultingEvery business has, or at least should have, a leader. This is the person who is responsible for the company’s strategy, who makes the tough decisions, who is the person that is ultimately responsible for the business’ success or failure. And this person, at least the good ones, know that they cannot do it alone. They realize that the people who are working for the company are assets.

But can you honestly say that you are getting the most out of your assets? Do you know a leader who thinks he is but is really squandering a lot of that value? That’s where we come in. Our program has done hundreds of consulting cases dealing with organizational development issues. Continue reading