Student Research Projects

The Marlin Management Conference: An Intensive Practical Learning Experience for Developing Professionals

Student Marisa Harris, '16
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Management, Business and Economics
Course MBE 492: Independent Study


One of the key assets an individual can have to become successful in the professional world is experience. The problem for many graduating students is that in the academic environment, students are taught theories and concepts but lack the practical experience that will help them professionally. The purpose of this paper is to present the idea of practical and hands- on learning in the form of a student organized and led management conference. The conference is part of the curriculum in a semester-long management class where, in addition to learning management theory, students plan, organize, and manage a weeklong conference held at the end of the semester. A brief literature review will be presented including an analysis of other similar programs at other schools as well as some theoretical background as to the effectiveness of practical applications to theoretical concepts in a management setting. The history and development of this conference project will be discussed including a brief explanation of how it was implemented as an integral part of the business program at Virginia Wesleyan College. Results from a survey of students participating in this experience will be presented. This paper will also explore the benefits, experiences, and lessons learned from the perspectives of the professor and the student CEO of a recent conference.


Virginia Wesleyan Undergraduate Research Conference Grant, 2015-16.


The Society for Advancement of Management (SAM): 2016 International Conference.


Regional Student Achievement and National Student Achievement, SAM International Conference