Stealth help

COB stealth projects[1]If you’re enrolled in COB 300 this semester, listen up! Or if COB 300 is in your future, pay close attention! There is stealth help for you. It’s a new blog written by an anonymous blogger about the academic adventure that is COB 300.

(I know who the student is, but I will only tell you that this blogger is a COB student, and that he or she — no clues! — is enrolled in COB 300 this semester.)

For those outside of JMU’s College of Business, COB 300 is a rigorous, 12-credit course that merges four disciplines: management, marketing, operations and finance. The objective for students is to work together in small teams to create a business plan, while taking classes in the four disciplines. In other words, they take their knowledge and use it in context. The business plans, built from the ground up around a business idea each team creates, will incorporate the four disciplines. In doing so, COB students learn valuable lessons in how business really works, taking it out of the theoretical and putting it into the practical. Students hone invaluable skills by working in teams, and they learn equally important skills in interpersonal communications and time management.

At the end of the semester, teams make formal presentations of their plans and enter a business plan competition sponsored and judged by members of the college’s Executive Advisory Council. The winning teams earn scholarship awards, totaling more than $25,000.

A lot of students grumble and complain about COB 300 while they take it. It is hard. It is very time consuming. It has its frustrations. It has also become a rite of passage for JMU business students. Those who survive it and end up with great jobs, however, consistently report how helpful the course is.

What impressed me about mystery blogger was her — or his— determination NOT to make the blog a platform for ranting and complaining. Instead, it will unfold this semester as a  step-by-step accounting of the experience for current — and future — COB 300 students. The blog is meant to share knowledge, experience and advice. In other words, this blogger’s objective is to help students tackle the course and succeed. One student helping other students. Done well, the blog should also increase the effectiveness of the course by offering tips, perspectives from the inside and encouraging words.

The  blogger wrote in the first post:

This is not a blog for me to vent and rant but rather I hope to provide an accurate account of a student’s journey through COB 300. COB 300 is famously known as the turning point in business students’ academic careers. If you have ever worked in a group then you would know how terrible of an experience it can be. Now imagine attempting to create a business with three strangers — that takes a lot of trust and work to make it happen.

One student helping his fellow student. It’s kind of like this blogger is holding the door open for fellow COB300 students — something that happens all over campus every day. And you’ve gotta love the blog’s name:  Corn on the COB.  Here’s the link:

And a quick note to followers of the Be the Change blog:  Over the summer, needing a little break, I only posted once a week. Now that the semester is engaged, I’ll be posting once again on Mondays and Thursdays. Let me also take this opportunity to thank you for following JMU Be the Change — as the Madison Community, both close and far flung, changes the world in big ways, small ways — and all ways in between.

Many, many thanks to JMU graphic designer Lynda Ramsey for the quick and stellar illustration.

About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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