Eastern Michigan University
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Business Administration major reaps the benefits of EMU's College of Business curriculum

Published March 24, 2015

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Roderick (Rock) and Kathi Baty

Reginald Caldwell Jr.

Business classes for the real world. That's one of the many advantages that Eastern Michigan University's business program offers students, according to Reginald Caldwell Jr., an EMU senior and entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Caldwell should know. The full-time student, on track to receive a bachelor's of business administration this April, also owns and manages two businesses that have benefited from his education, he says.

"The case studies presented in Eastern's business classes gave me practice trouble shooting real problems faced by actual companies," says the resourceful 26-year-old, who owns and manages Caldwell Property Management and Caldwell Consulting & Investments, both companies he established one year after enrolling at EMU. "EMU's business program opened my eyes to the multiple ways of solving difficulties in the business world and helped me manage my businesses efficiently."

Caldwell, who left another school to come to EMU, says he also was attracted to the Green and White because of its international studies program and its flexible curriculum. He was originally enrolled in an out-of-state university that offered an international business program, but left in 2010 when the school dropped the program and when family obligations called him back home to Detroit.

"My family owns and manages rental properties and needed a helping hand. It was hard to travel back and forth. When the university dropped my program, it was the last straw," he says.

His efforts to streamline and automate his family's rental business proved effective, and once the business was restored, Caldwell returned to his dream of earning a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on international studies. After researching several programs, he narrowed his focus to Eastern and the University of Michigan. "Both offered international studies, but from my perspective, Eastern's business program had more flexibility and more real-world application," he says.

Caldwell, who enrolled in 2011, dove into the Eagle experience with the same enthusiasm and effectiveness as his family business. He joined many clubs, including Eastern's Finance Club, Black Student Union and Collegiate Entrepreneurs. He also became a student employee, working part-time as an assistant to the Office of the Ombuds.

"Extra-curricular activities helped to supplement my education, increased my professional networking and connected me with students, faculty and staff on a personal level. I'd highly recommend them for other students," he says.

Academically, business ethics class was especially enlightening, he adds. "I learned how to look at problems and solutions from many different perspectives. It broadened my horizons."

His business ethics professor is just as complimentary. "I've had Reginald as a student in several classes over several years. Based on his classroom performance and his thoughtful, innovative ideas, I see him in a leadership position in the near future after graduation," says Christine Day, faculty, management department, College of Business. "He contributes to small groups, he provides examples for classroom discussions, and he is an engaged student. I know he will be a strong representative of the EMU community in the future."

Caldwell, who has traveled to Mexico and China, hopes to work for a large consulting firm with international connections after graduation. "Businesses are increasingly going global," he says. "The international classes I've taken at Eastern should help me stay ahead of the curve."

College of Business
473 Gary Owen Building
300 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

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