Surprise scholarships

Jeff Olson, center, ‘03, senior finance director for Reinhart Foodservice, congratulates students after announcing the $500 scholarship for 10 students in the Integrated Core Program.

Alum announces awards from Reinhart Foodservice for 10 students at conclusion of their class project

Students in the College of Business Administration’s Integrated Core Program got a big surprise as they wrapped up their fall semester’s work. Ten students in the program each received a $500 scholarship from Reinhart Foodservice, the community client they assisted as part of a final project.

Alumnus Jeff Olson, senior finance director for Reinhart Foodservice, made the announcement of the awards during an end-of semester banquet for the group. He was impressed with the caliber of students in the program and the quality of the work they presented.

The awards were given to students who provided the strongest deliverables to Reinhart Foodservice.

“This was a way to recognize these students and give back to the university. UWL has a huge talent base we tap into,” says Olson, ‘03. “We are hiring finance, accounting and IT professionals every year from UWL.”

Olson, a graduate of the accountancy program, says his undergraduate experience was critical to his own career success.

Students were charged with helping solve two challenges for Reinhart as part of their program coursework. The first was doing research on the value of a diversity and inclusion program. The second was focused on employee engagement through an acquisition as Reinhart is currently in the process of being acquired.

Learning of the $500 award was “awesome” and “totally unexpected,” says UWL marketing major Roman Kryshak.

“I am so grateful to Reinhart Foodservice for allowing us to work with them. It’s has been a great experience,” says Kryshak, a UWL junior. “I feel very proud of myself and my teammates.”

Kryshak enjoyed the program that incorporated real business challenges and working with a local client.

The Integrated Core Program, in its seventh year, is a series of four core courses in management, finance and marketing taught simultaneously to a cohort of 30 students over the semester. The students use their diverse skills and apply their knowledge to come up with solutions to three complex problems, the final one engaging a community client. This semester’s courses were taught by Christa Kiersch, Management; Diana Tempski, Finance; and Maggie McDermott, Marketing. During the award banquet, multiple students praised these faculty members for their dedication to the program and students.

The program focuses on giving students experiences with critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, professional communication and leadership — preparing them for what lies ahead in the real world.