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Seidman College of Business and ACG



The Seidman College of Business and its partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) are preparing Grand Valley State University business students for their future in a unique and exciting way. ACG is an association that helps corporations grow by assisting with mergers and acquisitions in several fields, including banking, accounting, and academics. The partnership has created numerous opportunities and networks for graduates, like Rabih Jamal, MBA ’11.

Jamal is grateful for the Seidman College of Business and ACG. As a graduate student at Grand Valley State University, Jamal was encouraged by Claudia Bajema, his counselor at Grand Valley, to get involved with ACG and compete in the ACG Cup, a competition for graduate business students where teams analyze actual business cases.

“Claudia encouraged me to get involved with this competition as a student and thankfully I was able to compete in the competition. It introduced me to a new field that was very exciting for me, one that I hadn’t had exposure to before,” Jamal said.

The competition gives business students in graduate programs the opportunity to work on a team to evaluate an actual business case and build a strategic plan, and then present their final project to industry professionals. Not only does the winner receive a monetary prize, they gain exposure to the West Michigan business community and the field for which they are preparing.

 “Grand Valley students are sought after for banking and CPA positions in West Michigan because of the quality of the Seidman education.  ACG is the organization where all those professionals go to network, so Seidman benefited from ACG’s involvement because it provided this exposure to the students and professors to be able to tap into these resources,” Jamal said. 

Grand Valley helped with the development and organization of the case competition in West Michigan, which has been held annually since 2008. Paul Mudde, a professor in the management department at the Seidman College of Business, has helped Grand Valley teams win four out of six of the West Michigan ACG Cups.

“We have been involved for six years now since the beginning of the case competition and our students have grown and developed significantly from that. ACG has helped Grand Valley to develop a unique graduate course to help the students prepare for the case competition,” Mudde said.

In order to keep the success of Grand Valley’s ACG Cup teams, the business college has also began developing a similar course for undergraduate student. Both courses help students along the pathway to a new career after graduation. Without the graduate course and the opportunity to compete in the ACG Cup, Jamal would not be working for his current employer, DWH, LLC as the managing director.

“ACG led me to meet a lot of professionals in West Michigan and led me to the job I currently have today, which is directly related to my ACG Cup experience,” Jamal said.

Thanks to donors and the construction of the L. William Seidman Center, Grand Valley was able to hold the 2014 ACG Cup at the Seidman Center. Without the strong support from the community, especially local businesses, many business students would not have the same opportunities. Scholarships and support of special programs have helped create the success of the Seidman College of Business. Gifts also have come in the form of time, experience and business connections from the West Michigan community. Students like Jamal and professors like Mudde are grateful for the supporters of the Seidman College of Business and ACG and the opportunities they have created.

“I would absolutely encourage donors to give to the Seidman College of Business because this school is becoming a primary business school in the West Michigan area and as a Seidman graduate I am proud to say Seidman is becoming nationally recognized,” Jamal said. 

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