Descriptions of Past Projects

Contents

Spring 2010

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Marketing, Advertising and Fundraising at a Small Foundation

GW students worked with a small foundation that helps minority students adjust to college life. They helped the foundation improve its processes in the areas of training, marketing, and human resources.  By working on several tasks the students helped the foundation reach their goal of spreading their company to more cities and states across the country. Having this dream come true meant training new volunteers and helping to find fundraisers and people willing to donate more.

An Employee Performance Survey for a Real Estate Development Firm

A real estate development firm was downsizing due to the recession. GW students worked with the managers of this real estate firm based in Northern Virginia to create a performance evaluation system for their employees. The students researched several options for the firm to adopt. After the firm reviewed and selected from the options, the students proceeded with creating a custom-made employee evaluation system for the firm. The students were continuously consulting with the firm to make sure all the services met the firm’s requests and standards. The end result was an effective employee evaluation tool that can be used by the firm to increase its performance.

A Volunteer Management System for a DC Tutoring Organization

A DC tutoring organization was founded at the GW Office of Community Service as one of the federal work-study programs in several universities in Washington, DC. It recruits students to help children in local communities in exchange for work-study funds.  After the GW student group interviewed the organization coordinators and a few tutors, the students identified possibilities and developed a relatively simple method with commonly available computer software to improve the tutor management system, in order to improve the overall performance of the organization.

Process Improvement at a New York Sports Memorabilia Firm

A large sports marketing and retail company employs around 100 employees who are responsible for everything from social networking to athlete signings. The company has the typical human resource management procedures for a merchandising company. They hire during the summer season looking for skilled employees who are enthusiastic about sports memorabilia. Their main goal is to continuously increase customer satisfaction, which is directly correlated to their employees’ satisfaction and performance. Through the use of a quality improvement priority matrix and interviews with employees, the GW student group worked to improve how the company implements its human resource policies.

A Handbook for Volunteers with an Office of Community Service

A student group worked with a university Office of Community Service. By meeting with members of the office and engaging in participatory planning, they were able to determine which HR-related office procedures were most in need of improvement.  These discussions, subsequent SWOT analysis, and a quality improvement priority matrix led to the decision to help the office streamline its recruitment and orientation processes for volunteer workers.  The students created a volunteer handbook which featured information on the many service opportunities offered by the office, a volunteer-matching survey to help the office match prospective volunteers with appropriate service opportunities, a flow diagram to determine the optimal scenario for hiring and orientation, job descriptions for key personnel who work with volunteers, and suggestions for improving the office’s website.  These efforts will assist the office in better managing their volunteer resources.

Business Process Reengineering at an Aircraft Management Firm

A corporate aircraft sales company specializes in the acquisition, management and sale of aircrafts worldwide. Its main office is in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The students worked to improve communications within the company and with clients, and reviewed time management procedures and methods for collecting data from clients. The students conducted work-flow analyses and used business process reengineering techniques referred to in class.

Improving Campus Visibility of a Student Publication

GW Students worked with a campus magazine of the Black Student Union, to improve the flow of information through the organization and its visibility on-campus. By evaluating current processes they identified problems and areas for improvement. They found there needed to be changes in business processes, employee recruitment and retention, and quality management. After researching different methods of implementation, they submitted their proposals to the Editor-in-Chief, and he disseminated them to the Board.

Patient Education in the Emergency Department of a Community Hospital

GW students worked with a start-up company to improve the patient care process in community hospitals by offering a breakthrough technology. In an effort to streamline the discharge process and better inform Emergency Department patients, the students helped to devise a business plan for touch-screen monitors for patient bedsides.  The touch-screen monitors are designed to engage patients in an empowering manner, allowing them to access timely and relevant information regarding their conditions and hospital services.  When implemented fully, the monitors will reduce waiting times and improve both patient safety and health literacy. Concurrently, the technology will have a positive effect on workflows, freeing up valuable clinical time to allow the doctors and nurses to concentrate on treating patients.

An Employee Handbook for a Boutique in Miami, FL

A small boutique located in Miami, Florida, offers a wide variety of women’s accessories ranging from handbags to belts to jewelry. Since the company is relatively new, the three owners independently manage and operate the store. The owners requested assistance in implementing human resource policies for hiring employees to operate the store. Students at The George Washington University designed and developed an HR framework that was tailored to meet the specific needs of the business. This included recommending an organizational structure, assigning specific job descriptions to each of the managers (the owners) as well as the employees, designing a compensation system, developing a hiring process, and creating an employee handbook.

An Employee Handbook for a Small Consultancy Service

The students created an employee handbook for a small growing company offering consultancy services. The handbook will help the company to expand further. To develop the handbook, the students looked at several handbooks from other companies to see how other handbooks are put together. The company can modify the handbook as the business develops. So they can continue to use the handbook for many years to come.

Job Descriptions for a Local Hotel

A local hotel is managed by one firm and is financed by another, which creates two sources of influence on the management. Although managed by these other companies, the hotel is non-branded, meaning that it needs to develop training in house.  The message in training is that every associate at the hotel is in the customer service business, even if this is not directly evident. The student group worked with the Director of Human Resources and the Associate Director of Human Resources, in order to resolve issues that the department has with job descriptions and competencies. The HR department wanted to have an increased level of understanding of the associates in its hotel and their individual duties. The group worked with the hotel managers to create comprehensive descriptions of the positions.

Process Improvement at an On-Campus Business

GW students worked with a business on the GW campus to improve the process of tracking equipment, installing and uninstalling equipment, and marketing job availability and equipment purchases and rents.  The group worked with the university as well as the company to develop a new tracking system to better indicate when equipment moved from one room to another.  The group also evaluated the current system of manual labor and worked to come up with a more efficient way to install and uninstall equipment around campus.  Lastly, the group developed methods to advertise to students about job openings in the company as well as to market to potential customers.  With these new business strategies, the business will improve quality while saving time and money.

Expanding the Concept of Microfinance

The original intent was to organize a one day conference on new approaches to micro-finance. The conference would feature a microfinance expert from New Delhi as the keynote speaker, and other speakers from local organizations. Due to time and other constraints, the group decided to move the conference date to the fall. The group arranged personal interviews between members of interested local organizations and the expert, who came to Washington in April. Over the course of one week, he made personal connections with seven individuals, who exchanged their knowledge with him, and built relationships valuable to partnerships in the future.

Fundraising and Improving Volunteer Management in a Therapeutic Riding Program

A therapeutic riding program provides therapy to people of all ages who have developmental, emotional, or physical problems or disabilities through a horseback riding program, also known as hippotherapy. Our group was interested in improving the operations this non-profit organization by researching fundraising, marketing, public awareness, partnerships, volunteer retention, and recruiting of new volunteers. Through the use of standard human resource models and with the group’s creativity, they were able to provide the riding program with short-term and long-term solutions to improve the organization and to raise more money and capital to improve the lives of the program’s participants.

Balancing Tasks and Employees at an Arts Center in Missouri

As a result of the current recession, the Arts Center, a community-based organization, has had to make significant cuts in staffing. The Center provides a valuable service to the community and requires a large number of staff members to continue to do so. Many of the families that take advantage of the Center’s services, including dance classes, art classes and community events, have significantly decreased participation in these activities because of job loss and budgetary constraints. As a result, the Center has had to cope with a decline in revenues. One consequence has been staffing cutbacks. The Center is struggling to operate at full capacity with fewer employees. Employees are currently taking responsibility for tasks in an unorganized fashion. The group created a plan based on employee availability and skill set, which puts employees to work in a way that will allow them to contribute most to the organization’s functions.

Reducing Turnover at a Local Retail Store

 GW students worked with the branch of a national clothing store chain in Georgetown to reduce the store’s higher-than-average turnover rate.  After examining the hiring, working, and resignation procedures, the students discovered room for improvement in the hiring method.  Using the theory of fit between the employee and the organization, the students revised the three main elements of the store’s hiring process – the application, the interview, and training – to focus on finding employees with goals and values that match those of the company.  The restructured hiring process will assist management in selecting employees with the desired characteristics, who want to grow with the company and who will be more satisfied with their jobs. These changes will lead to a more committed staff and reduce turnover.

Improving Efficiency at a Local Café

GW students worked with Howard University’s Georgia Avenue Development Center to help improve a local café. The café consists of a coffee shop and a bookstore. The students worked specifically to improve the café’s production, physical environment, legal compliance, personnel, inventory, and suppliers. They observed operations for several days, wrote a business plan, and created several process flow diagrams. The students helped to develop written job descriptions, researched different types of software to help manage inventory, and found cheaper local organic suppliers. The students were the first group of undergraduate students to work with a small business on Georgia Avenue. As a result of their positive contribution, the Georgia Avenue Development Center looks forward to working with other student groups in the future.

 A Cloud Based Real Time Communication System for a Virtual Consulting Firm

GW students worked with a virtual consulting firm to help them find ways to better organize data and information.  The firm is a start-up company and the team members work out of their own personal offices in different cities on the East Coast.  The student group introduced the company to a cloud based, real-time communication system that would provide the company with an open system of communication that is not only advanced and efficient but also user friendly.  Since the firm operates from multiple locations, these programs will enable the virtual consulting firm to bring its team together to brainstorm and collaboratively work in real-time to draft content and to discuss/solicit feedback in one place.  After researching the firms’ existing process for collecting data, the group was able to provide useful recommendations by introducing the firm to a third party cloud-based computing communication system. The new system has already helped the firm manage its data more efficiently.

Balancing Tasks and Employees in a Small Health Insurance Company

A small health insurance company creates employee benefit plans and programs for organizations whose employees lack the ability to obtain traditional medical insurance.  The students chose to work with this company because of the importance of health care in human resources.  In addition, the subject of health care was of interest due to the attention it was receiving in the political arena.  A main issue that the company faces is allocating the proper amount of employee resources to assignments. Having too many employees for a task results in unnecessary costs.  Having too few employees to handle the workload results in unsatisfactory customer service, poor quality, and overwhelmed employees.

Improving Hospitality and Customer Experience at a Local Restaurant

GW students worked with a local restaurant to help them find both short-term and long-term solutions to improving the customer experience and restaurant hospitality. The restaurant that offers American food in a modern, casual, and eco-friendly setting. The restaurant is dedicated to environmentally friendly practices and is devoted to helping local farmers stay in business. The students worked to identify and solve problems regarding service, atmosphere, and food quality. They interviewed customers, staff, and management in an attempt to gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry and the challenges faced by management regarding restaurant hospitality. After analyzing all aspects of the business, the students were able to recommend and implement actions to improve quality management, restaurant hospitality, and the overall dining experience.

Improving a Volunteer Tracking System

GW students examined a newly instituted Volunteer Match system which was adopted for logging student volunteer hours. By using a student survey and a focus group, recommendations were developed for possible improvements to the new program. Continued innovation and advertising to encourage community service by GW students were identified as the most important factors to ensure continued success of the database, which is used for personally logging completed service hours.

Spring 2008

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Process Improvement at a Non-Profit Food Distributor

A group of students worked with an organization that distributes food to individuals and families in need in the District of Columbia. The goal was to enhance the volunteer experience and process efficiency at the local food distributor. By volunteering and interviewing coordinators and other volunteers, the team was able to identify opportunities for process improvement in the areas of volunteer registration, volunteer briefing, and volunteer coordination – all of which influence the volunteer experience. By combining non-profit best practices with firsthand volunteer experience, the team, working with the managers, developed actions that will strengthen the operations of the distributor.

Upgrading Microenterprises in Developing Nations

An economist in New Delhi, India, wanted help furthering his research on microenterprises as part of a plan for alleviating global poverty. After researching microfinance institutions in Washington, D.C., and Ghana and learning about their efforts to support the expansion of microenterprises, a group of GW students learned that organizations were providing business development tools that helped microenterprises expand, but not in a uniform manner. After interviewing several microfinance institutions, the GW students compiled their research in a way that would enable the economist to engage directly with the most relevant organizations.

Data Collection Model and Labor Allocation Database for a Non-Profit

A non-profit organization holds a one day work-a-thon to beautify DC public schools and to raise scholarship money for students.  The organization expressed a need for a data collection model and a labor allocation database to better predict and assign volunteers to schools on event day. The students created a data collection model, executed the data collection on event day, and created and analyzed the data in a labor allocation database for future use by the organization.  Students also provided the organization with recommendations for conducting future events.

Business Emergency Preparedness: Human Response Resources Rollout

A medical care organization in Montgomery County, Maryland, is essential to the delivery of medical treatment to uninsured and underinsured county residents. The medical care organization required assistance in creating a Continuity of Operations Plan to maintain operations in the event of business interruption from a range of unforeseen disasters. GW students created forms and templates for gathering employee and vendor contact information, flow charts of strategies for disaster responses, and a communications plan to maintain contact with employees and community partners. The students also created a rollout plan to help the organization’s Human Resources representative introduce and gain staff support for the Continuity of Operations Plan.

Recruitment of Culturally Diverse Mentors

The student group worked with the mentoring organization, assisting them with their recruitment strategies.  The organization is struggling to recruit culturally diverse men to mentor in their program.  The group decided that the best way for them to increase recruitment was for the mentoring organization to become more diverse and more active in their recruitment methods and practices.  The group brainstormed solutions and ultimately provided the organization with a program outline to assist in community relations development and to jumpstart recruitment drives.

Employee Handbook for a Growing Electronics Company

GW students worked with a private, small-business electronics store based in McLean, Virginia, helping to create an Employee Handbook and to consolidate the rules of the business in one location.  After researching numerous sample handbooks, general requirements for what needs to be included in a handbook, and recommendations made in class textbooks regarding Human Resource Management, the team of students drafted a Handbook to be reviewed and further modified by the client. The group supplied the business with a sample handbook and the necessary tools to continue modifying and improving the handbook in the future.

Fall 2007

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Organizational Diagnosis: Office of Career Development

GW students worked with the Office of Human Resources and Career Development of a government department to study and analyze three critical processes: Career Development, HR Policy Development, and Workforce Planning. The organizational diagnosis also analyzed the division structure. These processes must work efficiently to provide the department with secure and up-to-date support for all of its efforts in order to achieve effective organizational functioning. The group studied certain problems in these processes. The students used knowledge from MGT 201 to provide guidelines for analyzing the three processes. With effective communication, research and following through with the client on the client’s concerns, the group was able to identify some growing problems and provide recommendations for improvement.

Employee Turnover in a Communications Company

GW students worked with a communications company to reduce employee turnover and to improve Knowledge Management (KM) and employee retention in order to better meet customer expectations regarding quality and delivery of the company’s products and services.  The group had a contact within the company who was engaged in trying to solve KM issues.  The knowledge the group gained from the management class, the professor and the textbook was used at the company to improve its KM functioning.  The group provided the company with recommendations for continuing with process improvements in the future.

International Business Strategy of an Organization for Training & Development

GW students worked with the organization to identify opportunities for growth of international attendance at events conducted by the organizationl.  This endeavor will assist the company in expanding its role as the premier organization providing education to human resources and organizational learning executives beyond the United States.  After reviewing current offerings, and information available on the organization’s website, the students were able to identify key areas that would bolster the organization’s offerings to international conference attendees by making their journey to the conference a little smoother and more convenient.  By implementing the recommendations, the organization will be well positioned to market to international corporations for their educational offerings.

Disparity in Health Insurance Enrollment Rates

A restaurent offers health insurance benefits to its kitchen staff that exceed those offered by several of its competitors.  Even so, a wide disparity exists between the rates of enrollment among managers and the rates of enrollment among kitchen personnel.  Management asked for help in understanding the reasons behind the disparity.  GW students interviewed restaurant employees, managers and experts regarding culture to understand better the problem.  They produced a report summarizing the major issues causing the enrollment disparity and made recommendations about how management could address the issue.

Orientation for a Study Abroad Program at a University

Group members worked with a university’s School of International Affairs helping to create a “cultural immersion crash course” for an international exchange program between the School of International Affairs and its partner institution in China. To this end, the group designed and created a program that focused on Chinese cultural elements, the Chinese university itself, and Chinese logistical issues.  Following research focused on the client’s unique needs, the group developed and submitted a working document for the client to use during the next program lifecycle.

An International Buddy System for a University’s International Services Office

GW students worked with the university’s International Services Office to create a mentor program for incoming, international students pursuing an undergraduate degree.  The ISO would provide each incoming student with a mentor who is a current student at the university.  The mentor will serve as a resource regarding services and information provided by the ISO as well as a cultural resource to life at the university.  After researching this proposed “buddy system” with the ISO, the students put together a package of training materials, resources and the necessary forms needed to begin this buddy program.

International Students as Resources for American Students Studying Abroad

GW graduate students worked with the International Services Office to facilitate the involvement of international students in domestic students’ preparation for study abroad.  After understanding the goals of the ISO regarding helping international students to interact more with American students, and identifying the need to provide cultural preparation for American students planning to study in foreign countries, a proposal was created outlining details for possible collaboration between the ISO and the Office for Study Abroad.  By creating a program dealing with international student recruitment, collaborative pre-departure workshops, informal gatherings for study abroad students, an online communication resource, and a system for ongoing evaluation, the students were able to help the ISO meet their goal of assisting with international student interaction while providing valuable resources to American study abroad students.

Fall 2006

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Job Redesign at a Student Union

GW students worked with the student union at a nearby university. The student union was staffed mainly by students and was a temporary job for most of the staff. The staff was not highly motivated and the work quality was low. The students assisted the student union in making it a better place to work by improving the job design process with a focus on motivation, enrichment, and methods to make the jobs more exciting. The students accomplished this task by conducting meetings with the director along with online surveys to measure employee motivation and job quality. After analyzing the data, students made recommendations to improve motivation using Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory and job enrichment principles.

Enhancing Cultural Competency at a Local Church

The church is provided with funding by a federal government agency due to its service-oriented programs. It has a diverse constituent population. The students worked to increase the cultural awareness of current and future employees and volunteers as well as to increase the usage of the current mission services by the constituent population. They did this by meeting with staff and volunteers, receiving an overview of the programs offered and the populations served, and identifying cultural communication problems. After gathering data, they developed an action plan with the church staff addressing each program within the church.

Spring 2006

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Process Improvement in a Growing Non-Profit Organization

GW students worked with a non-profit organization that aids handicapped children to help them find specific solutions to improving processes in the areas of marketing, strategic management, and human resources. Accomplishing these tasks will assist this organization in reaching their goal of establishing offices in all 50 states and 50 countries by 2010. After researching business processes specific to non-profit organizations and conducting interviews, the students were able to provide recommendations to the organization on how to secure additional funding, devise a strategic plan, transfer responsibilities, provide training to state offices, and, lastly, take advantage of alternative staffing solutions.

Orientation Program for American Faculty Teaching Abroad

A Chinese School of Nursing recruits faculty from the U.S. to go to China to teach and live for 3 months out of the year. The School wanted to develop an orientation program to better acclimate the incoming faculty to the nuances of Chinese culture and learning styles with the hope that the faculty will utilize the information when preparing their lectures to maximize the students’ learning. After the GW students researched Chinese culture, demographic information, and learning styles, it was decided to provide a power point presentation, fact sheets, and a written report to convey the information to faculty to ensure maximizing students’ potential to learn.

Recommendations for the Compensation/Benefits Package for a Non-Profit Organization

GW students worked with a non-profit organization with operations in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The organization works to defend human and environmental rights through legal means. The organization lacked clarity on where their organization stands with regard to salaries and benefits in relation to other similar organizations and desired to identify what changes it needed to make in order to attract and retain the most qualified staff. After conducting interviews and surveys and learning about the challenges of creating an equitable salary and benefits package, the students were able to determine where the organization stands in relation to other NGOs in regard to compensation.

Fall 2005

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Information Systems Staffing in a D.C. Government Agency

GW students worked with a Department of the D.C. government. The department needed recommendations for the proposed restructuring of the information systems area and suggestions for improving the ability of the staff to keep their technical skills current. The students developed a questionnaire to obtain information, reviewed the textbook to find concepts related to the project and used the internet to find case studies and online articles. Through their research, the students discovered organizational issues that directly contributed to the lack of employee motivation and decreased productivity. The students then developed a method for addressing the issues that contributed to the staffing problems within the department and applied concepts from the textbook, professional experience, case studies, and online articles to form recommendations which were presented to the client.

Improving Cultural Preparedness for Study Abroad Students

GW students worked with a university’s Office of International Programs to help evaluate and improve the cultural preparedness of the university’s study abroad students. The students reviewed and critiqued the current pre-departure and returnee material provided to the study abroad students, interviewed advisors on current methods of cultural preparedness, attended workshops offered for pre-departure and returning students, and analyzed surveys given to students upon their return. A supplementary packet of materials was then developed for the advisors to reference and distribute to the students as an aid to cultural preparedness prior to departure, along with a list of recommendations for the advisors on how they can incorporate more cultural awareness into preparation for the study abroad experience.

Integrating Jamaican Culture into the Delivery of Patient Care

GW students worked with a hospital to help promote cultural awareness among healthcare providers. Both cultural awareness and cultural competence are vital for effective service delivery. The hospital staff needed assistance with integration of information about Jamaicans into diversity training programs. Such information is currently lacking. Healthcare service providers needed to acquire knowledge about Jamaican culture, so they could better meet the needs of Jamaican patients with life-threatening illnesses. The GW students first reviewed the current clinical practices at the hospital by conducting interviews with the medical staff, natives of Jamaica, and the Office of Workforce Development. Secondly, they identified cultural issues that influence delivery of culturally-competent patient care. These included communication, family roles/organization, spirituality/religion, and views on illness and death. After finishing their research, the students developed a training program for patient advocates and medical staff. The training program would be part of the orientation program for new clinical residents, so they would understand aspects of Jamaican culture which they might encounter in their daily delivery of patient care. They also spoke with the Office of Workforce Development to coordinate the implementation of additional cultural awareness programs at the hospital.

Working for Democracy in Uzbekistan

GW students worked with a coalition of political parties in Uzbekistan to assist in finding ways to bring democratic reform to Uzbekistan. Much of the population in Uzbekistan is involved in cotton production, and there is little free market practice. The students studied the Coalition’s website, contacted the appropriate non-profit and aid agencies in Washington, DC, interviewed people from Uzbekistan to gain insight into the daily life in Uzbekistan, and collaborated with them through meetings and group discussions. After finishing their research, the students recommended that the government of Uzbekistan have an annual Combined Federal Campaign where employees can easily sign up to donate to charities and have the money deducted from their payroll. These funds could then be a possible source of revenue for the Uzbek organization, if they gain non-profit status. Donations could go to them to aid community outreach programs and small business assistance in Uzbekistan.

Spring 2005

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Managing Cultural Differences in a Washington Hotel

The hotel, located in Washington, DC, had held cultural sensitivity training for its line staff approximately 18 months prior. The GW students worked with the hotel to follow up with additional training sessions. After conducting an analysis of the stated needs of the client, they were able to provide the client with a broader definition of cultural diversity and to present to both the hotel’s Executive Housekeeper and Director of Training an instructor’s training manual and a participant’s companion guide that would address a wide range of cultural issues affecting the dynamics of the Housekeeping Department.

Spring 2003

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Organization Design and Quality Improvement for a Television Network in an African Country

GW students worked with a television and radio network to help the company with managing ethics in media/journalism organizations, with organizational design, and with quality improvement. The students reviewed the existing processes and standards for journalism ethics and the current organizational structure of the TV network, found information on the Internet about managing ethics in journalism and how media organizations are structured. They also conducted interviews. The students then proposed to the shareholders of the television and radio network a code of ethics and professional behavior for media/journalism. The students suggested an organization structure based on the firm’s business strategy and described how to conduct surveys for quality improvement.

Implementation of a Bookkeeping System in a Restaurant

The GW Legal Clinic was assisting a restaurant owner who had not been paying taxes. The people at the clinic felt the owner needed help with business processes. GW students helped the owner implement a bookkeeping system to improve the business processes of the restaurant. The students conducted meetings with the client representative and restaurant owner, analyzed the requirements, and carried out research to determine possible solutions. The students implemented an efficient bookkeeping system with the use of Dome Ledger and documented the first three months of business in 2003 in Dome Ledger to serve as a reference. They also created procedures for filing revenue and cost receipts. The students programmed the cash register to generate sales receipts and to keep track of monthly sales tax expenditures. Finally, the students provided training on the new bookkeeping system.

Fall 2001

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Increased European Membership in a Research Organization

GW students worked with a clinical research organization which is a global organization dedicated to the cooperative transfer of knowledge in a clinical research field. The organization, in an effort to expand its European membership, hired a marketing firm to research which countries were most attractive for membership recruitment. But the firm did not have the means to analyze this information, so the GW students helped to devise an international marketing strategy outlining important issues. The students analyzed data, identified specific needs of potential members in targeted European countries, and identified cultural differences among targeted countries. The students then made recommendations to the organization on how to increase European membership through more culturally sensitive approaches.

A Face-to-Face Customer Service Program for a D.C. Government Office

Students worked with a customer service office in the Office of the D.C. City Administrator to help develop face-to-face customer service standards and a program implementation strategy.  First, they reviewed the current strategic plan for the office of customer service, conducted research, benchmarked best practices in government and industry in the face-to-face customer service arena, and conducted interviews with key stakeholders. The students then presented to the Office of the City Administrator a draft plan for implementing a customer service program designed to improve face-to-face contacts between District government employees and constituents.

Minority Student Enrollment at a University

GW students worked with a university’s Alumni Association Recruitment Network (AARN) to assist in designing new programs for the AARN to increase community awareness of the university with the intention of increasing minority enrollment. The students first worked to understand the current programs in place at the university and obtained historical enrollment statistics. They then determined the issues facing the university that needed to be addressed in order to increase minority enrollment. Research was conducted by benchmarking minority enrollment issues and programs at other U.S. universities with similar characteristics. The students also interviewed undergraduate minority students at GW. After finishing their research the students provided recommendations to the university AARN that would work to increase minority student enrollment at the university.

Visitor Survey for a Newspaper Organization

GW students worked with a newspaper organization to help them better meet the needs of the international community. The students began by reviewing the objectives of the project with the organization’s staff and then developed a survey along with data collection methods. Through their research the students were able to assist the organization in learning how to market to and better serve the international community.

Recruitment and Retention Strategies at a Communications Company

GW students worked to assist the Vice President of Staffing and Employee Relations at a global media company, in determining a strategy for employee retention, with special emphasis on diversity retention. The students first conducted research on employee motivation, multi-cultural motivation, and diversity initiatives. They then reviewed literature in the field of human resources management to determine which strategies have proven successful in increasing employee retention. Next, they studied positive employee relation models, focusing on retention of high performing employees. Once finished, the students presented a comprehensive literature review of the most recent strategies related to recruitment and retention of employees for the client to use in determining the most appropriate retention strategies for the company. The literature review highlighted strategies related to minorities and a diversified workforce.

Spring 2001

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A Survey of Members of an Association of Civil Engineers

GW students worked with the organization to help them look for trends in recently collected data. A survey had been completed by a select group of members to measure satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. The data had been broken down into two groups, domestic and international members, but no breakdown of trends by country had been performed. The GW students analyzed the data by country to see if there was any trend based on the country’s culture. They also looked specifically at South and Central America and offered specific suggestions for the association to increase its presence there, because these are the easiest countries in which the association can grow internationally. The students conducted interviews, sorted the international responses by country looking for trends, compared responses to what is known about the cultures of the countries described, prepared a written report on trends and comparisons, and then made recommendations for further advancement of the association in Central and South America.

A Company’s Data Systems Expatriate Program

GW students worked with the data systems branch of the human resources department of a major company to increase the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its expatriate program. The students first created a survey, with questions covering a variety of topics from training and benefits to family issues, which was given to four data system employees who had been or still were on overseas assignments. The data from the surveys was then analyzed to find trends or problems that could be addressed by the company. The students also gathered information from some employees at an external consulting firm for comparison purposes. Also, discussions were held with the human resources point of contact to get clarification on the company’s expatriate policies and procedures. In addition, the students researched the expatriation process to discover what practices would enhance and strengthen international assignments. After researching and analyzing the data, the students created recommendations for the company that were intended to facilitate the successful expatriation and repatriation of its employees.

Fall 2000

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Increasing Involvement of Domestic Students with International Students

GW students worked with a university International Students Organization (ISO) to improve its visibility in the GW community and to encourage more domestic students to participate in ISO activities. The students first conducted interviews with domestic and international post-graduate students, so they could better understand why domestic students attend ISO activities. The student team also compared the characteristics of the domestic and international students. Next, they conducted a survey on campus to learn the preferences for campus events by students.  Finally, they conducted an analysis of ISO data regarding social, cultural, and academic events to find out who ISO needs to market to more aggressively while providing information on what types of events can be successful. Once the students finished their research, they made recommendations to ISO on how to increase domestic students’ involvement in order to make ISO activities serve all the university community and meet international students’ expectations of closer interaction with domestic students.
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