Kelce College of Business MBA students are putting business theory into practice thanks to the efforts of alumna Dr. Mindi Garner.

Garner, a board-certified physician and 2017 Pitt State MBA graduate, is partnering with the KCOB to select students to manage the business operations of her recently acquired Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise retail store in downtown Pittsburg.

MBA students are responsible for nearly every aspect of the business including management, payroll, inventory, sales, and payment of corporate tax.

First-year MBA student and current store manager Emily Commons said the experience is bringing her classes to life.

“In class, I’m learning about taxes for business,” said Commons. “But here (in-store), I’m actually doing it with inventory versus cost of goods sold. I’m going to have a lot more experience when I graduate thanks to Dr. Garner.”

In addition to student experience, the program is also keeping a local business in Pittsburg.

“My grandmother introduced me to this product and I couldn’t imagine our community losing it,” said Garner. “I felt it was my duty to maintain it here.”

This isn’t the first time Dr. Garner has partnered with Pittsburg State students. She also sponsors the Premeds with Promise program which provides early clinical exposure to premed majors and ultimately better prepared future physicians.