Each semester, students in the Intelligence for Business RIAP 240 classes prepare a semester-long competitive intelligence project.
Students choose a company in an industry they are passionate about and create a report, including a financial and strategic analysis of that company’s main competitor.
If a report is extensively researched and well-polished, Shelly Freyn, Ph.D., chair of the Business & Competitive Intelligence Department, submits the project to the company.
In the Fall 2018, lead analyst Cedric Shutts and his supporting analysts, Parker Cerneck, Tucker Reddington and Vincent Torrez, prepared a report focusing on Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
After Freyn sent the report to Lockheed Martin earlier this semester, CEO Marillyn Hewson sent a response to the students. The letter commended the four students on their work, specifically listing the strongest sections.
In addition, the CEO listed suggestions for strengthening the report and students’ skills as business intelligence analysts.
This is the first time that a CEO has directly responded to an Intelligence for Business report.
“What really stood out with this project is the caliber of response from the CEO of Lockheed Martin; this company ranks No. 200 on Fortune’s Global 500 list,” Freyn said. “For a CEO to take the time to review the project and provide feedback to our students speaks highly of the quality of work we produce at Mercyhurst.”
Although this is the first direct response from a CEO, over the past 10 years some students have gone to their company and presented the project, if they have a personal connection.
Other companies that have acknowledged student work with conference calls or letters.
“I am very proud of Cedric and his team. The CEO’s letter and connections for internships were worth going the extra mile,” Freyn said.