Real Projects, Real Experiences, and Real Impact. What does that mean? The Goff Scholars and Goff Trailblazers courses focus on submerging students in real-life work environments. Students are tasked with real problems to solve for a company or organization. In solving the problem, students will form recommendations as to what the company or organization should do next. No two projects are exactly alike, and this year’s projects are fascinating.

Markie Hoggan is a senior at the University of Utah double majoring in finance and international studies. Currently, she is a student in Goff Trailblazers. Goff Trailblazers, instructed by Dr. Ruchi Watson, is a one-semester, multidisciplinary course that focuses on one project over the semester where students work with real businesses, nonprofits, and organizations. Hoggan says that this course has exceeded her expectations ever since she first heard about it from one of her business scholars’ professors, Bonita Austin and Goff Scholars instructor.

The current project client is Jill Stephenson, the Director of Student Services for the Center for Business, Health, and Prosperity at the University of Utah. One of their projects is Health 2 Go, a program based in Ghana that helps communities with basic health services. Their success in Ghana has motivated the program to look into expanding into Uganda. Hoggan and her classmates worked to see if this project would be feasible in Uganda, “My team is all drastically different in our interests and our majors,” Hoggan said, “Having that wide variety of backgrounds and majors helps us to choose what we want to focus on, and we are all willing to work on things that we are uncomfortable with.”

Finding that Health 2 Go could succeed in Uganda, Hoggan’s team will spend the rest of the semester crafting final recommendations for their project client, including considerations for the expansion process and funding opportunities. While a project of this scope can seem intimidating for some, the course support teams along the way to guarantee successful project outcomes and personal growth. Trailblazer classes are split into two different days: professional development and project days. Professional development days involve hand-picked guest speakers based on the class’s interests, and project days are for working in their teams on the class’s current project.