A Short History of the Program
Gary J. Sbona Honors Program is the Honors Practicum for the Lucas College of Business. It was started in 2006 to best prepare our top students for the world of global work by providing them with an opportunity to get real on the job experience as part of their college curriculum. In the best of alumni traditions, Gary J. Sbona, a San Jose State College of Business Alum and successful businessman, agreed to sponsor the program and has committed a substantial amount of money to support the program and promote its expansion to global dimensions.
Student and Business Win-Win
Participating companies/organizations get our best and brightest students to do much needed projects at no cost to them. Because we have honors students from every undergraduate concentration, we have the flexibility of providing student teams from multiple cross-functional disciplines as well as more department/function specific. The program also provides firms with the opportunity to preview our best students for possible future employment.
Our Honors students also win. In addition to having gained significant real world experience and enhanced employment opportunities, they also have the opportunity to be admitted directly into the SJSU MBAprogram, thus waiving the GMAT requirement. Many of our Sbona Honors Program students also become eligible for university-wide honors such as President's Scholars and graduation Cum Laude.
To insure the quality of our student participants we employ a selection process which includes a review of academic transcripts, resumes, and a written essay followed by a face to face interview. Students are evaluated for their academic results in key courses as well as prior work experience, school activities, and their ability to communicate both orally and written. The typical student in this program has a 3.5 GPA or above, over two years of work experience, and are involved in at least one or more significant extracurricular activities.
How the Program Works
Students selected for the Honors Program are provided to companies/organizations in teams of at least 3 or more and are expected to work approximately 8 hours each per week on the project. The projects are two semesters long providing sufficient time to successfully complete complex real projects.
Ideally, projects require students to use their critical thinking, technical skills, research, diversity and teamwork to mutual advantage. This allows them to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real business problems and to come up with an innovative solutions. The advising professors and the student teams review the proposed projects with the project sponsors to clarify issues and come to mutual agreement on expected outcomes. Then they plan and execute the project. And, just like at the completion of any business project, deliverables are presented to the project sponsors and the project is implemented.
Past projects have been diverse and challenging including: value chain analyses, product to market timing and issues, benchmarking procedures and reporting, Sarbanes Oxley implementation, manufacturing efficiency studies, market research, impact of social responsibility on stock price and trading, new employee training module, automated loan screening and approval tool, internal audit procedure evaluation, cost accounting system analysis and recommendations, Customer Relationship Management systems, smartphone applications, database applications and the like.
Want to become part of these exciting projects? Follow the links below.