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Potsdam Central School students will soon be forming their own computer consulting company offering free computer workshops to the community, thanks to a partnership between the Clarkson University School of Business and Siemens Building Technologies, Landis Division -- a business unit of Siemens, the third largest corporation in the world.

Through the collaboration, PHS students will learn how a technology business functions and then turn that knowledge into a business.

Siemens District One Syracuse Sales Manager Michael Brogan, and Systems Sales Engineer Timmie LaCourse have been the key company representatives in establishing this three-way partnership. Together with Potsdam Central business teacher Cindy Centofanti and a Clarkson graduate student team, they developed an exciting hands-on interdisciplinary program to assist the students with developing business skills and gaining career exposure.

Students will begin by completing a career assessment.  A team of Clarkson graduate business students -- Eleanor Chong, Patricia Alikakos, and Christine Jiang -- will administer the program. Next, students will learn about the Siemens Building Technologies unit from a variety of company perspectives that include finance, marketing and strategy, organizational behavior, legal and management issues.  They will also have the opportunity to gain skills in technology, leadership, teambuilding, presentation and communication.

Students will then be asked to take their business knowledge and ultimately conduct a mock business sales presentation as a Siemens sales team to a local business. Siemens employees will work with the students to teach them about the products, associated engineering concepts, and aspects of salesmanship.  Students will participate in field trips to Clarkson to study Siemens systems and take computer courses.

By working with the Clarkson graduate team members and Clarkson’s Internet Consulting group the students will form a business to provide computer training to adult community members.

Students from Potsdam Central will be able to choose this program as elective course credit.  The course will begin early next semester.

The partnership is one of seven partnerships administered under the auspices of Clarkson University’s School of Business Partnership Program headed by Sandra Zuhlsdorf. Siemens provides financial and other resource support for this partnership. 

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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