Alumni and Partners

Honors Student with dean of LcoB and Professor Parineh

Sbona Alumni Fellows

Since Fall 2021, the Marketing & Business Analytics Department has been piloting a new program, the Sbona Alumni Fellowship (SAF):

  • Sbona Alumni Fellows are recent high-performing alumni of the Business Honors Program who provide coaching and support to current students and student teams
  • Industry research has shown that receiving mentorship from non-evaluating individuals is consistent with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as anti-bias goals of the program
  • Assignments are made to maximize fit and skill development, while ensuring no conflict of interest with client organization
  • Our first two SAF cohorts have included 16 recent alumni with diverse backgrounds

Marketing & Business Analytics Client Partners & Project Guidelines

How does the Program Work?

  1. Students selected to the Business Honors program are organized into small cross-functional teams of approximately 3 to 4 students
  2. Groups are assigned to a project based on the needs of the sponsoring business partner and the student skill sets and background. (The business majors represented in each team are usually a balanced mix of students from both the Marketing and Business Analytics disciplines Interdisciplinary teams with other majors can be developed upon request.)
  3. After a kickoff meeting with the business partner, the group works for the entire semester to develop a strategic plan and then deliver the agreed-upon deliverables
  4. Students spend on average 10 hours per week collaborating on the necessary research and analysis to achieve project objectives
  5. Throughout the semester, student teams engage regularly at agreed-upon intervals with the sponsoring partners for guidance, status updates and progress reviews
  6. At the end of the semester, the groups present their project outcome to the sponsoring business partners, course peers, and program faculty members as both a live presentation and professionally written report
  7. The sponsoring business partner submits feedback about the effectiveness of the student team’s ability to meet project objectives and evaluates quality of project deliverables

Sponsoring Business Partner commitment:

  1. Develop a project proposal describing proposed objectives and deliverables. (See proposal guidelines below.)
  2. The ideal project addresses a meaningful marketing and/or business analytics challenge.
  3. Interdisciplinary projects which require diverse skillsets (e.g., finance, MIS, engineering, design, etc.) are welcome.
  4. Identify a person in the organization who will be the primary point of contact for the students.
  5. Set up an initial meeting with the student team to go over project details and set the pace of future meetings and/or special events (students may benefit from shadowing staffers, attending board meetings, participating in conferences, etc.).
  6. Be accessible to students over the semester to answer clarifying questions and provide guidance.

Proposal Guidelines:

Your brief 1-2 page proposal should include:

  • Brief org history/background
  • Project summary
  • Marketing and/or Business Analytics challenge (as well as any other desired skillsets—see point (3) above)
  • Proposed Deliverables
  • Definition of success and key performance metrics
  • Liaison(s) - title and contact information

Hint: Don't "over-engineer" the proposal, as the assigned student team will be tasked with creating a project charter and more clearly defining project deliverables and timeline, working together with the client organization.

Alumni Testimonials

This semester was truly one for the books. Being able to talk to you [professors] in class, in office hours, and through text really showed how committed you ... were to our success. The guest speakers ... proved to be very helpful for [our] career development. I looked forward to seeing who … was speaking [every] week. The projects this semester were also very interesting... Having both profit and nonprofit entities as sponsors showed how necessary marketing and analysis are. Thank you, Professors Eisips, McFeely, and Boveda for a wonderful semester, and I look forward to what you ... have in store for the future honors classes.
- Jake Guzman, MKTBA Honors Student
I have had a great semester in the program. [Even though] we were not able to have class in person like I would have hoped, ...the class was still very fun and I learned far more than anything I could have in a traditional class setting. The professors did an amazing job providing us with resources and keeping us on track with our projects and I am very excited to see the program develop over the years. In terms of the client, they were excellent at responding to us and open to our input, which made the process fluid and enjoyable for all parties.

- Mihir Hansalia, MKTBA Honors Student

I am so tremendously impressed with the group of scholars you have brought together and are supporting. In addition to their high level of engagement during the recent webinar, I am most impressed with the level of follow up… in a way that was very professional and bodes well for [the students’] ability to connect and work with senior leaders. I suspect there is some good coaching and training that supports them in this… Bottom line: I want to thank you for the bringing me into connection with such an extraordinary group.

- Kip Harkness, City of San Jose, Guest Speaker and Panel Moderator, CivicTech Panel

Over the years we’ve been honored to have had the opportunity to work with several Honors student projects. I am continually amazed at how curious, professional, and smart these SJSU students are. Their project results have not only been incredibly good real-life training for the students but very valuable for our productivity. This appears to also be a direct reflection of outstanding educational input and direction stemming from the professors, instructors, and staff at SJSU.

- Lou Ramondetta, President, Surplus Service, Sbona Client Sponsor