CloudCheckr was the latest company to benefit from Marketing Projects, a course taught by Vincent Hope, a clinical assistant professor at the Simon Business School. For the last 15 years, Hope has given more than 700 students the opportunities to address real-world marketing issues for local businesses as part of the course. Initially, the course was only available to graduate students at Simon, but that changed in 2011 when the College and the Simon School collaborated to create the Barry Florescue Undergraduate Business Degree Program. One of the first courses offered was Marketing Projects.


“Google was doing well with higher education because they offer a variety of free services,” says CloudCheckr Product Marketing Manager Todd Bernhard. “So we had this hypothesis that universities would be ready to move from on-site data storage to the cloud.”


This spring, three seniors—Jixuan Liu, Teddi Shapiro, and Zetian Xiao, all business majors—took on the challenge of coming up with some answers.

“We put together a diverse list of colleges and universities and started cold-calling the IT departments to connect with the people who actually knew about data storage,” says Shapiro.

The students found three main concerns at the colleges—cost, security, and the possible loss of data. Shapiro says the team concluded that “there will be more of a market in the future. While the larger universities were starting to switch over to the cloud, the smaller ones were planning on staying with on-site data storage.”

Hope’s students are not simply getting valuable business experience; they’re also learning how to work as a team, how to treat people, and how to interact with professionals.

“Ultimately, the students are learning life rules, not just marketing rules,” says Hope. “And those are lessons that will help both in and out of the office.”