Advanced Technology Group has teamed up with the University of Montana to teach a class that allows students to take classroom learning and apply it to real-world business projects and gain firsthand experience in the information technology systems industry. ATG has been teaching in Professor Cameron Lawrence’s class for two semesters, and so far, the course has received rave reviews.
ATG’s focus in the class is to teach students Salesforce, a market-leading Customer Success platform. The class curriculum was developed in partnership with Lawrence, an acclaimed professor of Management Information Systems at UM’s School of Business Administration.
The idea behind teaching Salesforce is that students can learn information technology concepts such as selling processes, Quote-to-Cash, Configure Price Quote, CRM, and billing that will carry over into a number of jobs and fields, according to Tom Stergios, ATG’s SVP of Strategy and Corporate Development and general manager of the company’s Missoula office.
“The business school wanted to get students familiar with the industry at a high level and then dive in and focus on a vendor – the vendor being Saleforce – a leading technology platform that works with enterprise, mid-market, and non-profit organizations around the world,” Stergios said. “They also wanted to let students get a little exposure into what we do at ATG and how we do it.”
Much of the class time is spent working on projects. ATG offers open office hours during the week so students can stop by the downtown Missoula company to get help from ATG staff. For the final project, students work in groups and make presentations to judges. The judges, who are ATG employees, vote and award the winning group of students a grand prize of $500. There are also several best presenters selected, who each win $100.
According to Professor Lawrence, the class received extraordinarily positive feedback and the highest possible evaluations from students.
“ATG has been fantastic to work with and the company’s efforts have made the business school a better place,” Lawrence said. “Of equal importance, our students have benefited directly from the mentoring provided by ATG, and many of our best students now see ATG as their top choice for employment. This partnership has been successful beyond anything we could have initially imagined.”
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