In August, Southern Arkansas University opened its entrepreneurial innovation hub, SAU Beyond the Campus — a retail store in downtown Magnolia.
The student-managed store is dedicated to providing graduate students currently enrolled at the University the opportunity to sharpen career-readiness skills while earning a Master of Business degree.
The first management team consists of three, first-year, MBA students: Jeremy Hunter, Macy Moseley, and Ja’Corey Porchia. They each earned an undergraduate degree from SAU as well.
“We are all very grateful to have been chosen for this opportunity because we are learning so many valuable skills to carry on with us in our future careers,” Macy Moseley said. “We also get to continue being in contact with the university that has become our home.”
The store, located at 113 N. Jefferson West Court Square, is a 3,400 square-foot-building that carries a wide range of SAU products and apparel. The front half of the store operates as a retail location, and the remaining space will open later this year as a community learning center.
The building was generously donated by Bobbie Ruth Webb in July 2017.
“SAU is extremely grateful to Mrs. Webb for the gift of the building on the Magnolia Square. Student success at SAU is our number one priority,” said Dr. Trey Berry, University president. “SAU is proud to be part of Magnolia, and we are excited to have an even greater presence downtown. I can think of no better way to provide our students with hands-on experience and employment opportunities while earning their degrees.”
The students will co-manage the store until they either graduate or decide to move on, they said.
“The store has been much more successful than we expected. We have been very busy, especially on special events like homecoming and blue and gold day,” Jeremy Hunter added. “None of us have had any experience in the world of retail so I think it’s something we were all curious about and have gotten to fully experience all the aspects of it with these positions.”