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Unique Business Class Offers Students an Opportunity to Present at Inquiry 2013
04.11.13 |
Each year at Lebanon Valley College, business majors have the unique opportunity to take an elective class based on a special topic. This year, visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Holger Hinz teaches BUS 290: “Comparative Analysis of German and U.S. Car Makers.” Students from his class will present their research in the automotive industry at Inquiry 2013.

Senior business administration major T.J. Brillhart’s attraction to the class was sparked by his interest in the automobile industry. His group chose to use the unique perspective of college students interested in purchasing a new car for their research.

Brillhart and his group distributed surveys to ask students what they looked for when they consider a new car.

“We chose to analyze the attributes that college students consider most relevant in a car and find which car would suit them best based on their needs,” Brillhart said. “It’s along the same lines as what an automotive magazine would use to rate cars. We’re playing matchmaker, essentially.”

They will then check their data against an upcoming car show, planned by the students of the class, at ValleyFest.

During the car show, signs that provide the details, price, and top five attributes of each car will be on display. After the car show, they will ask students to provide the research group with their car choice. The group will check that choice against the car that was earlier recommended based on students’ responses to the original survey.

“We will basically be checking our data and asking, ‘Are students ignoring what they said they valued in a car to instead choose a car based on status or brand recognition?’,” Brillhart said.

Numerous car dealerships have agreed to bring cars to the College for the show.

“Inquiry is an opportunity to display my information and let people know that I’ve been doing these really interesting things,” Brillhart said. “I want to work on the business side of the automotive industry. To have done a research project and have it be available gives me a possible competitive edge.”

After graduation, Brillhart plans to work in the automotive industry and later attend graduate school. His ultimate aspiration is to work in Europe for a major automotive manufacturer.

Brillhart is among the 170 students selected to present their work during Inquiry 2013 on Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Arnold Sports Center Gymnasium. For additional information about the event, visit

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