Each semester, undergraduate entrepreneurship students manage a not-for-profit retail store located in the basement of Toner Student Center. Aptly named the “Cardinal Corner,” students choose products to sell in the store, garner donations from around campus, and sell items for on-campus organizations as part of a course within the entrepreneurship major.
The class is broken into management teams and sales staff. Students apply lessons learned in many courses such as marketing, economics, and management. Each team experiences product sourcing, pricing, promotion and placement. The decisions that the students make throughout the semester are experienced first-hand and result in financial success or failure.
This semester the students chose five new products to sell at the store: a vintage style college shirt, a pink cancer awareness shirt, tote bags, footballs and winter hats.
The students voted to give the store’s profits this year to the First-Generation Initiative.
Profits from previous semesters have been donated to the Winona Area Humane Society; Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin; Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance recipients; Dom Dziecka, a children’s orphanage in Poland; and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Minnesota.
Led by assistant professor of business Michael Ratajczyk, the members of this semester’s class are: Ashley Bollig, Chelsea Pumper, Cody Sprague, Daniel Fino, Jakub Koziuk, James Sullivan, Jennifer Tobroxen, Lucas Kubic, Matthew Biagini, Michael Burfeind, Nancy Leon-Morales, Natalie Williams, Otto Holzer, Reid Smithe, Ronald Enrooth, Samantha Kleese, Sarah Mills, Timothy Wolande, Tyler Krysiak and Jamal Arnold.
When asked their thoughts about the Cardinal Corner thus far in the semester, the student teams had this to say.
“A school spirited store made by Cardinals for Cardinals!” – Team Totes and Footballs
“We feel that the experience at the Cardinal Corner is not only beneficial experience, but it is a positive one where we as students are able to learn how to apply business-like concepts on a day-to-day basis in a real-world environment.” – Team College Shirts
“The Cardinal Corner is a fun way for students to raise money for charity by selling products that they designed.” – Team Pink Shirts
“The Cardinal Corner allows students to experience what it is like to make practical marketing and financial decisions in a small business environment.” – Team Pink Shirts
“The Cardinal Corner helps us experience what we should be expecting in the real world.” – Team Hats