Can Students Manage a Company?
Yes of course. But before we talk about the students, we will talk about how the idea came up.
The company tried the experience of letting its employees to manage the company. Each employee was given a week to become the manager having the full authority to manage the whole company. The experience and outcomes were valuable. And the company learned a lot from this experience.
One day, a new idea came up to have someone from outside the company to manage the company for one week. The main objective was to get someone who will benefit from the experience more than GOODAT will benefit. Thus, the best idea of having a manager from outside the company was to get university students. They will be exposed to new and unique experience.
So, What Happened?
On the 8th of January GOODAT Company opened the door for university students to apply for the experience. Two positions were provided to be taken by two students for a week from the 29th of January to the 2nd of February in which the company’s manager was travelling. The positions were: Manager and Assistant Manager
That week planned to be during the students’ vacation between first and second semester.
The applications for the positions exceeded the expectations. During two weeks, GOODAT received 58 applications. The selection criteria of the manager were the following:
- The ability to hire an assistant manager,
- LinkedIn profiles,
- The answer to the question “Why do you think you are a good manager?”
- The performance in the interview.
It was a tough call for the company. There were very good candidates. After going through the process, Muneera Abalkhail and Mishael Alhomoud were the chosen manager and assistant manager respectively to run the business. They are both senior marketing students in University of Dammam.
Before their first day, GOODAT’s general manager talked to Muneera and Mishael and explained to them their tasks along with the authority they have. The turnover note was sent two days before the starting date. This allowed the new managers to have a clear idea and what to expect. The tasks were the following:
- Evaluate January performance for each division comparing to the business plan and understand the justification
- Planning for the month of February by revising the business plan and setting monthly objectives and targets.
- Revise the cost vs budget for the month of January and update the estimate budget for the remaining months
- Plan for the social media campaign
- Conduct a share knowledge session
- Continue working on social media content and update
- Revise Theen (A new product) progress with the first milestone on February 1 with the programmer
- Distribute the volunteering survey
Muneera and Mishael did an excellent job on all the tasks and responsibilities that were assigned to them during the week.
In the company’s social media accounts using the Hashtag in Arabic #مديرنا_مسافر, they tweeted some part of the experience which was great.
The first day was for orientation and briefing them about the company’s business plan so they can put thing in good perspective.
The students did very well and put their best effort to complete the tasks in hand. The company run very smoothly and there was no disturbance in operation.
What is next?
The idea was well perceived by the community and the experience is encouraging other organizations to do the same.
The two students after that continued to work with the company as part time employees handling social media and part of the marketing.
GOODAT plans to repeat the experience, but next time it will not be with students. It will be with unemployed people to run the company for a week.