The Charger Blog

Students Collaborate with Alumnus, Leading Drug Company to Create Business Plans

Saul Factor ’96 EMBA, president of Smith Drug Company, wanted current University of New Haven students to have the same meaningful real-world opportunities he had as a student. So he teamed up with the Pompea College of Business to create opportunities for graduate students to collaborate with his company.

June 16, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of online presentations
Saul Factor ’96 EMBA listened to students’ presentations online.

Amanda Hudson ’18, ’20 MBA and her classmates recently conducted more than 40 interviews over four months as part of an assignment that enabled them to work with staff members at Smith Drug Company. They then developed a business plan that they presented to the leaders of the South Carolina-based medical supply and distribution company.

"All the employees did so much for the students," said Hudson. "They were eager and willing to help us. This was an amazing experience for all of us."

Their work with the company was part of an idea for a capstone project that was conceived by Saul Factor ’96 EMBA, president of Smith Drug Company. A trained pharmacist whose experience includes sales, marketing, and patient care, he wanted to give back to the University by providing a real-world learning experiences for current students.

"When I was a student at the University, I had an opportunity similar to this. It was the best experience I had, and I hope this was a great experience for students."Saul Factor ’96 EMBA

The plan was for nearly a dozen students to visit the company’s headquarters in South Carolina so that they could meet with staff members in person and develop their ideas for a business plan. Although students were able to make a trip to the company in February before the coronavirus pandemic halted travel, the rest of the project was completed virtually, including their final presentations.

"I believe we have a great incubator for students to learn from us and for us to learn from them," said Factor. "Students navigated through a very difficult time, and their presentations and recommendations were outstanding. I’m absolutely thrilled with the outcome."

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Amanda Hudson ’18, ’20 MBA and her teammates presented their recommendations virtually.

Students presented their final presentations and recommendations virtually to Factor and several of his colleagues, who then asked them questions and provided feedback in real time. Members of the University’s Pompea College of Business community – including dean Brian Kench, Ph.D. – also watched the presentations.

"These students leaned in over the last eight weeks and did a remarkable job," said Dr. Kench. "This opportunity was very valuable to each of the students."

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Students worked with Smith Drug Company to develop a business plan as part of a capstone project.

Hudson agreed, and she says she’s grateful that she and her classmates had the opportunity to work with the company.

"Everyone at Smith Drug Company was honest and generous with their time," said Hudson. "They were flexible with doing everything online during the pandemic. We enjoyed working with the company, and we hope our recommendations can make a meaningful difference."