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Students provide recommendations to Medicine Hat SPCA

February 27, 2023

Solution-driven students in the advanced accounting program at Medicine Hat College (MHC) are bringing their studies to life by working with local organizations. Their latest project, in their strategic management course, provided the opportunity to present organizational solutions to the Medicine Hat SPCA.

MHC advanced accounting students, Alysha Kuntz and Carolynne Marr, say the project began with an interview with a member from the SPCA, to gain an understanding about their current practices. The class then worked together to identify opportunities of improvement and present alternative solutions with an implementation strategy.

Challenges identified by the students included continuity of staffing, clarification of roles and external engagement, which the students say they used knowledge both from the course and from courses taken during their business administration diploma, a pre-requisite to the advanced accounting certificate.

“I like it because it's taking everything that we've been learning so far and we're actually applying it to real business cases,” says Kuntz. “I think there's a lot of value in that because if we go to work in the real world, if they have any issues, we can be more solution-focused, instead of just having a complaint about something.”

Of the work put into the project, the students believe their small class size and variety of unique skills have made them successful in preparing for their case studies, which have also included the Root Cellar, Tangles Salon, and Zeffirelli's Cucina. Marr adds that the experience of presenting for some of the organizations have helped her to fully engage with the cases.

“The nice part is interacting with the actual local organizations and non-profits, and they’re receptive to it. You can really dive into that and self-engage with it.”

SPCA vice president, Linda Tooth, says the work the students put into the presentation was evident and she plans to take their suggestions back to the organization.

“I was totally blown away with the research that they had done and the ideas. And it's interesting because we know that we've got certain areas that maybe need to be worked on, but when you have somebody else look at it from outside with ideas, you think, ‘oh, I never thought of that,” says Tooth, who asked the students to record their presentation to share with the SPCA board of directors.

As the semester continues, the students look forward to continuing to gain experience through local case studies.

“I really like that our instructors go and find local cases for us to do, practice helping them do better, especially the SPCA being a not-for-profit organization where they really do need the help and they have real problems that they're sharing with us,” says Kuntz.