With Think Tank, Lander Business Students Work With Clients in Real-World Setting
Monday, Jan 07, 2019

think tankAs part of their assignments, Lander University business students work throughout the academic year with owners of area industries on various projects. Thanks to the vision, innovation and generosity of Lander alumna Hanna Dover, a member of the Class of 2004, students now have office space in the heart of Uptown Greenwood to work, meet and collaborate with their clients.

Located at 206 ½ Main Street, the 2,342-square-foot Think Tank facility is essentially a business incubator opened by Dover in June 2017 for business start-ups and entrepreneurs. “I noticed successful Think Tanks and liquid office space in larger cities, and when I needed a place to call home for my growing (residential, vacation and commercial real estate investor) business, my husband and I thought it would be a good fit,” she explained.

Dr. Barbara Wheeling, Dean of Lander’s College of Business, saw the potential and competitive edge Think Tank could provide to the university’s business students. “Think Tank is an absolutely perfect setting for our students as they work with commercial clients,” she said. “Our students have access to a meeting room and a board room for presentations, both of which are equipped with the latest technology for presenting their concepts.”

Wheeling explained that Think Tank will help ready students for their post-collegiate experiences, making good on the university’s mission of preparing students to either launch their careers or attend graduate school. “The idea is providing a professional type of atmosphere for students to work together that will replicate their professional life when they leave Lander.”

The atmosphere generated by Think Tank is infectious and stimulates creativity. “When you step into Think Tank,” said Dover, “you step into a 'big city' vibe. A customer once told me it felt as if a slice of Boston had been added to Greenwood.”

Adding to Think Tank’s mystique are several 100-year-old "ghost" murals – old, hand-painted designs that decorated the former exterior of the building. “When the ghost murals were discovered after we closed on the building, I thought I had found real-life buried treasure,” said Dover. 

To make the students feel more at home, Lander turned to the expertise of Jody Chapman, a professional decorative painter with a design background from Harrisburg, Penn., who also happens to serve as administrative assistant for the Lander College of Business. 

“In helping to fine-tune the atmosphere of the space for the Lander students, I basically followed Hanna’s lead from a standpoint of keeping the industrial-contemporary décor, with the exposed heating ductwork and ghost murals,” she said. “To have done anything traditional would not have worked. My role was to identify furniture needs for our space to fit the ‘vibe’ of the Think Tank and provide a ‘sample board’ for color and visuals. Once received, Hanna completed my design ideas with a few of her own and made the final selection and purchase of all furnishings…making it very simple and hands-off for us!”

A successful entrepreneur with a thriving real estate business, Dover realizes the advantage that Think Tank can provide for Lander business students. “Think Tank is designed to foster creativity and drive,” she said. “Working with clients in this setting is an opportunity for Lander business students to submerge themselves into an environment that encourages forward thinking and growth. Even though, in the end, it’s just a space, the patrons make it special. Working and meeting off campus and in the heart of Uptown will enable the students to connect with the community and their clients on a real-world level.” 

 

This story is featured in the Fall 2018 edition of Lander Magazine. Read more at www.lander.edu/magazine.