July 05, 2017 12:00AM
During the spring 2017 semester, undergraduate students in the Marketing Research course developed a survey for downtown merchants to assess parking concerns and needs. During the 2017 summer session, MBA students are analyzing survey results and interviewing downtown merchants to gain more information.
The overall goal of the project is to help the city determine best practices for improving the parking situation in downtown Pittsburg.
“This was an opportunity for our students to participate in real-world data collection and research, while also serving the community,” said Eric Harris, PSU professor of marketing. “The work our students put in on this project could go a long way toward helping the parking situation in the community.”
Jay Byers, assistant city manager, said he appreciates the students’ hard work on the study.
“Students approach issues with fresh eyes, so their involvement helps us to see things differently,” Byers said. “Add to that their important analytical skills, and they bring real value to our projects.”
For the students, the project is a unique opportunity for their academic studies to effect positive change in the community.
“It’s actually a very cool project because we’re learning a lot about community research, and we’re also learning a lot about our community,” said MBA student Jessica Russian. “It’s inspiring to know the work we are doing here at Pitt could have a real impact on the city itself.”