Collaborating with Students to Write Case Studies

Over the last few months I've had the pleasure of working with four Aboriginal business students who prepared short case studies on topics pertinent to Aboriginal business in Canada. We were piloting a mentorship arrangement and a template for the "caselets" and are pleased with the results.

Four students who have participated in events hosted by the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies over the past two years — Danielle, Pamela, Shawna, and Tamara — were invited to research and write short case studies on businesses in their communities. I helped them select businesses, design their case studies, and understand the research process where necessary. Then, armed with consent forms and a template, they made contacts, conducted interviews, and researched the background and context of each. After they prepared their first drafts using the template, I met with them (or dialogued with them over email) to shape and edit their work. In the end, we had short case studies on human resources and training in an Inuit hotel, certificates of possession in relation to the development of big business on a western reserve, identifying and filling niche markets in an urban reserve context, and marketing of an Aboriginal tourism business in Vancouver, BC. And hopefully the students involved learned more about the research, writing, and editing process.