V-Commerce Course At Michigan State Marks 10th Year; Graduates Are Building Our Industry’s Future

Last week, I addressed the V-Commerce class at Michigan State University, the nations only college course dedicated to vending. This marks the 10th year for the course, which was developed by its instructor, Prof. Mike Kasavana, Ph.D., in cooperation with the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA).My presentation this year was titled, The Vending Industry At A Crossroad. My purpose was to give the 40-plus students an idea of the challenges the vending industry faces and what I believe is an exciting future, due largely to new technology.The V-Commerce course is an elective in Michigan States School of Hospitality Business, and according to Prof. Kasavana, it is among the hospitality schools most popular electives, based on the speed by which students register for the course.I began my presentation noting the important role that the course itself plays in the vending industrys development. As the nations first and only college vending course, the V-Commerce class reflects our industrys rising professionalism.Many V-Commerce students over the years have attended the NAMA Expo, where they make industry contacts and oftentimes land jobs.Speaking to the students is always invigorating. Their interest in our industry forces me to take stock of the role our industry plays in society. This is something we can easily forget in handling our day-to-day tasks. It also reminds me that every day, new blood flows into our industry. I always leave the class feeling more upbeat about our industrys future.All of us have an opportunity to be involved in education in some way, be it speaking at a vocational school, a high school or a college. Its something each of us should make time for.It not only boosts our morale, but it forces us to take a look at the industrys bigger picture. Which is inspiring.

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