Business majors work as consultants for yoga studio


“I can’t convey enough that these students took this project and they owned it. I’m blown away by what they did this semester.”

—Julie Schlemmer, local business owner, on her CWRU business student consultants 


Julie Schlemmer has taught yoga for a long time—as a private instructor for organizations like Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Indians. But running her own yoga studio was new to her. 

She took ownership of the Atma Center, a Cleveland Heights institution for more than 20 years, on April 1, 2020... two weeks after the studio moved to an all-virtual format.

Needless to say, it was an eye-opening introduction to business ownership.

So, she turned to a team of undergraduates at Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management’s Action Learning course to help her navigate her most pressing business dilemmas: how to rebrand the aging studio and grow her clientele.

“They were very professional. They had pages of ideas and examples of how they could help me and my business,” Julie said.

The team of students coached Julie on how to retain the history of the venerable studio while rebranding to appeal to new audiences. They advised her on using social media for effective (and low-cost) outreach. One student on the team used her connections from an internship at Yelp to host an event to garner new clients. 

Action Learning is the business “capstone” course for Weatherhead seniors. In teams, students work as consultants for local and national brands. They provide research and strategies to solve challenging business problems for their clients.

“Through Action Learning, our students use their knowledge, skills and creativity to work on real business situations,” says Weatherhead professor Jennifer Johnson, who leads the course. “They are responsible for not only the plans they create and the execution of those plans, but also for communicating with their clients as professionals. They do the work of real consultants in every way.” 

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