When it comes to applied learning, it doesn’t get much more real than selling a business franchise.
That’s what Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud health fitness degree students discovered in Scott Eide’s Sales and Marketing of Fitness Programs class when they took on a research project for ReJuv Medical Weight Loss and Performance Center.
J. R. Burgess, ReJuv partner and CFO, asked students to pull data on the exercise-as-medicine movement with the intent of using this information to sell ReJuv franchises nationwide. The fitness students researched tirelessly throughout the quarter and created a PowerPoint presentation for Burgess to market on the road.
“They provided an incredibly invaluable service,” Burgess says. “They killed it for us.”
In fact, Burgess needed the presentation for a trip to speak to graduate residents at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Chicago before the students felt they were completely ready. Wanting to meet the deadline, however, the students gave Burgess an initial PowerPoint, and it was that presentation that convinced a doctor to purchase the franchise.
“The students were completely jazzed,” said Eide, health fitness specialist program chair and instructor. “As I told them from the beginning, ‘this is not a drill.’ They knew they had to get it right and rose to the occasion.”
Student Lance Johnson agreed. “It felt good and positive when [Burgess] came back and told us he sold it. Very real world.”
Trevor Ziwicki added, “I felt proud. The work was paying off.”
This is not a first-time partnership for ReJuv Medical and Minnesota School of Business but rather an on-going and dynamic relationship. In 2011, health fitness specialist students worked with ReJuv in its marketing efforts for name and program recognition. The idea of exercise as medicine—that a doctor can prescribe exercise just like medicine as a preventative or restorative remedy—was completely new to the area and ReJuv had its work cut out in courting area clinics and physicians to the concept.
Burgess said that the students created awareness and leads for ReJuv with that initial project and it has grown from there. A new facility will break ground this week in Waite Park and a second center currently operates in Sartell.
In addition, Burgess is a vocal champion of the applied learning concept at MSB and spoke earlier this spring to student associations about personal and business success. ReJuv has also hired MSB graduates and works with its interns.
It may not be a match made in heaven—but it certainly is in the real world!