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Consulting Company Spearheads SharePoint Technology Program at Two California Colleges

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Posted Feb 12 2011 07:28 AM

I met Greg Kiefer, President and CEO of Kiefer Consulting, at the recent SharePoint Technology Conference in San Francisco. He told me how his company created a program to introduce Microsoft SharePoint to college students at Sacramento State and Chico State. The results were the successful completion of a new and innovative technology program. Here's the story:

The program introduces students to SharePoint while also simulating a project management initiative from an actual consulting engagement. The teams used SharePoint to build interactive, team collaboration sites. This program helps to prepare students for the future by developing new technology skills, real world project-related experience, team interactions and presentation opportunities.

“We have gained an invaluable learning experience through this project, which we hope to render and apply in the real world situations as we grow to become successful business people.”

This program was an immense success. All participating teams presented their SharePoint site features and attributes to a large audience, including local leaders and other students. Charlene Luna was a member of the winning Chico State team and felt the experience brought tremendous benefit: “Project management, leadership, planning, team work, communication, problem solving and time management were all significant factors.” Pooja Sehra of Sacramento State stated, “We have gained an invaluable learning experience through this project, which we hope to render and apply in the real world situations as we grow to become successful business people.”

As a benefit to winning, the top teams will have an opportunity to showcase their sites to an executive audience at a future Kiefer SharePoint event. Presenting will expose the students to a tremendous networking opportunity and allows them to demonstrate their SharePoint expertise. The winning team will be able to utilize Kiefer executives as references and mentors.

Kiefer Consulting expects to see the program grow exponentially to include UC Davis and local community colleges ultimately. The universities involved are incorporating this program into their curriculum for future semesters. In the long run, Kiefer envisions a regional SharePoint competition across a number of schools.

Talia Israel, a recent Chico State graduate, participated in the program in Spring 2010, and is now an Associate Project Manager at Kiefer Consulting. She is now actively involved in growing the program. “This was a great opportunity for me to gain exposure to not only a powerful technology, but to the realities of the workforce and demands of post college employment,” she said.

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