Reebok Project Assignment:
This was a six and half week class engagement project under Associate Professor of Accounting Willie Reddic. Students worked with the Reebok team directly. They were given the raw data and asked to “figure it out.” The scope was partially defined but not entirely. The project entailed going beyond the story of what the data says.
The students talked to experts, were given virtual tours, and provided the raw data. The students also signed NDAs because they were getting "real data."
This work encompassed six regions. Thirteen teams were created, each was assigned a region, and the teams competed against each other. The students were given 200-450 observations to extract data from.
In the end, the thirteen teams presented in-depth reports including graphs. The information was very high-level and made suggestions for the provider on how they would use this information. The Reebok CFO was so impressed he canceled his flight to see the presentations.
The company was provided a “free” think tank, and the students had a high-level engagement experience.
What were the students trying to learn with these data points?
The class is for accounting analytics. Students have two paths: 1) public accounting (big 4 or other firms), or 2) consulting – public/private practice. The professor found user-friendly, free software for the students to learn. Then trained them on it, provided logical/critical thinking homework to learn from, and set them free to think for this “real-world” learning project.
Reebok Partnership: The company continues this partnership. We hope they will hire students after passing the CPA and graduating.
Student's Perspective: This was the most “real-world” experience they’ve ever had. Beyond the classroom and getting to do what they were taught. Beyond theory. It provided a trial and error experience, where they would make mistakes and learn from them. Overall, it built confidence and comfort with using any data they may be given.