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By Maura Jensen

The Eller Professional Development Center (PDC) had students on the run in November. The PDC hosted a “Millionaire Mile” business-themed fun run to get students engaged with Eller and to raise money for Eller student organizations. 


Teams dodge market forces in the run.
Photo by Gaizka Urreiztieta.

The run was planned and hosted by the Honors Event Management class taught by Pam Perry and Shannon Uribe.

At the beginning of the race, each team of five students was given “start-up money,” which they had to invest wisely along the run. Each team made decisions regarding product distribution, research and development costs, and how to spend five percent of their profit (donate it to charity, develop an employee profit sharing program, or keep it). The teams could also be hit with colored powder at any point in the run, with colors representing unexpected market forces that could either negatively or positively impact their business’s progress.

At the end of the race, the teams that fared better than the others were declared the millionaires. Accounting senior Sarah Laus was on the winning team with a few of her brothers in Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. “It was interesting to walk through the business start-up process, and the pressure of making quick team decisions about our company made it very interactive,” Laus said. But more importantly, the event helped student to make connections with each other and staff members. “As an organization, we are passionate about being involved with Eller,” she said.

Millionaire Mile also gave Eller students real-life experience with event planning and the opportunity to raise money and awareness for student leadership development programs. Shivani Patel, a pre-business freshman, was part of the class. She said that participating in the event planning helped her gain leadership experience and hone her critical thinking skills by having to implement all the details of the run. “What was really rewarding about planning this event was being able to see a real life application of business skills,” she said. “We had an idea, we created a plan, and we executed that plan.”

Sydney Chong, another student in the class, said that working on a real, hands-on event helped her hone her communication skills. “There are few opportunities like this available to freshmen,” she said. “I was able to develop my knowledge as I got to work with my whole class to put together this event.”

All proceeds from the event went back to supporting Eller student organizations.

Top image by Gaizka Urreitieta.