Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

Credits for sales: a win-win with experiential learning

Author: Liz Lemon-Mitchell

Posted on Jul 15, 2019

Category: Programs , Students

Based in Moncton, NB, Malley Industries has been manufacturing ambulances, wheelchair accessible vehicles, plastic products and specialized commercial fleets for a wide range of clients since 1979. It is one of the largest adaptive mobility manufacturers in Canada, and this spring a group of BBA students in UNB’s Faculty of Management worked with Malley Industries on two consulting projects to help them identify new markets. When he heard their recommendations at the end of the course, Will Doyle, Director of Sales, told the students “We are going to see sales come out of this.”

The students were enrolled in Strategic Management, the capstone course required in the final year of the business degree. It’s called a “capstone” course because students integrate the knowledge they’ve gained from all of their courses to analyze business challenges and recommend solutions. They plan alternate strategies, and consider the risks and potential for success of each, before deciding the best course of action to recommend. Dr. Martin Wielemaker was the instructor.

Early in the term, the class visited Malley Industries’ home base in Moncton to learn about the company’s operations. They toured the manufacturing facilities and then split into two groups to consult with senior administrators on their projects.

In one group, teams were tasked to research potential markets for an after-market product. In the second group they were tasked, first, to recommend a sales strategy for entering new markets; and second, to devise a restructuring plan for the sales force team that would accommodate an expansion into new markets. Travel to and from Malley headquarters was sponsored by Future Ready NB through the office UNB’s Experiential Learning Office, headed by Sarah King.

Holly Ayles, one of the students in the class, said, “The Malley Industries’ project allowed us to not only apply the concepts we were learning in class, but also see how they would impact a successful and established business, firsthand.”

Senior administrators from Malley Industries consulted with the students during the term and on the last day of class listened to their recommendations.

“Their presentations were impressive and provided our team with concrete avenues to pursue,” said Malley. “The students were keen and attentive and impressed our management team with their research efforts and their grasp of the issues challenging our company.”

Ayles said “Malley Industries took what we had to say seriously and this helped show me that the education I am receiving at UNB is valuable in the real world.”

“Experiential learning helps students to be more creative and reflective, and also make connections between new concepts,” said Darcy Crowe, “Experiential Learning Coordinator with the Faculty of Management. “Organizations who partner with these types of projects benefit by building new networks within the university community and by working with students who bring energy and fresh ideas into the workplace.”

“As a New Brunswick company,” said Malley, “we like to support UNB and its students in their educational pursuits. We look forward to working on other projects in the future.”

There are a variety of ways organizations can get involved with our experiential learning programs. If you are interested in partnering with our business students on future projects, please contact Darcy Crowe

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PHOTO: On the last day of class, students presented the senior management team at Malley Industries with a photograph of the class visiting Malley Industries. This is (L-R) Mark Pedersen, a student in the class, with Will Doyle (Director of Sales); Kathy Malley (Vice-President); and Terry Malley (President and CEO).