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In this assignment you will conduct an in-depth interview of a manager or owner of a for-profit business. The business must have been fully established for at least 2 years and have at least 3 employees (in addition to you, if you work for the company). It must be a currently operating company. This interview may be conducted in-person, over the phone, or online. It may be a U.S. company or one located in another country. You may interview a friend, relative, current or past employer, or any individual who is a manager in, or owns a business that you use, admire, or are curious about.

This assignment will be graded on the thoroughness of the answers provided – it is important that you interview a manager or entrepreneur who gives complete and specific answers that can help you better understand business in the “real world”. This project will receive 0 points if the requirements for the interviewing company are not met: for example, a business that is closed or is not currently operating, a business with no employees, a business that is a concept on paper but does not actually exist, a charity or non-profit. Also, 0 points for repeated interviews. (You must be the only one who interviews your manager or entrepreneur – two or more students may not interview the same individual.) There are no substitutes for this assignment — for example, researching a business personality in a magazine.

Paper Format: Place your full name at the top upper-right of the paper. This assignment should be a minimum of 3 pages, double spaced. Write in coherent sentences and paragraphs. Do not just attach a recording of the interview. Number and alphabetize the answers in the same format as the questions below are presented. Don’t combine sections. Use a professional type face such as Ariel, Times Roman or Verdena in 11-12 point size. Points may be deducted for confusing/missing organization or identification. You may include the questions in your paper, but that is not necessary. (But it does ensure that your paper is easier to read and that no questions are missed!)

1. Company identification and Information

a. 
Name and title of individual interviewed, and name, address, of the company that the manager works for or that the interviewee owns. Website link for the company may also
 be provided if it is online.

b. Product or service offered and industry (or industries) in which the company competes.

c. The number of years the company has been in business and how the
company is organized (sole proprietorship, partnership, franchise, corporation, etc.)

d. The number of employees

2. Interview Questions

Provide answers to the following questions. For questions a – g write preferably in the first person “voice” of the interviewee. Questions i and j are for you, the student, to develop.

a. How did the economic downturn/recession affect your company? What signs of an economic recovery or further downturn do you see in your industry or company?



b. What is your company’s key strength versus its competitors?

c. What trends in business, society, or technology are creating opportunities or challenges for your company?

d. How do you keep your employees motivated? What is the role of pay, bonuses, benefits, or other nonmonetary incentives in motivating your employees?

e. How are your company’s products and/or services marketed? What marketing technique works best, in your opinion?

f. What do you think is the most important skill required for success in your position? Why?

g. What do you like best about your work? Why?

h. What words of advice do you have for business students today?

i. Student: You may ask any other question about the business that you wish here. Provide both your question and the answer. Only one additional question is required, but you may ask more if you wish to earn more points.

j. Student: Provide your perspective on the interview and what you learned from it. Be specific – this section should be at least one page.

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