Matt Stevens

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


The Senior Project was to have been a project that would make a difference in the community or in an organization within the community and at the same time be something relevant and important to the student. After discussing our mutual interest in the area of leadership training, Kristine Sweet and I decided to get involved in a Human Resources or Training and Development segment of a local business. After sending out numerous letters of inquiry, we were finally offered a project at Ukrop's Supermarkets, Inc. that suited our desires and also fit the class requirements. The project appealed to us because it offered practical experience in a type of profession that we were interested in pursuing upon graduation and because we knew it would call upon us to put into use all of our Jepson School learning in such a way that it would benefit another organization. It was the best opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom theory and actual field practice, and it became an exciting challenge to us to both sharpen our leadership skills and to help others develop their own.

In a sense we became leadership consultants to Ukrop's Human Resources function. We worked closely with two personnel assistants, the Human Resources Director, and the Vice President for Human Resources, who oversees all training for almost four thousand associates. As a tool for evaluating all of their training and personal development programs. known as the Center for Retail Food Studies, Ukrop's distributed surveys to all associates and managers who had participated in classes last year and to all faculty who had instructed them. We were asked to evaluate the surveys in terms of what general improvements could be made to the Center for Retail Food Studies and more specifically what their needs were regarding leadership training. We discovered that in general associates were satisfied with their training opportunities, but they felt like input was needed, both instructors and materials, from sources other than within the company, as typically people from various aspects of Ukrop's served as their training staff. In addition, we noted that managers and associates alike seemed to want an emphasis on issues more personally relevant to them, with less focus on specific Ukrop' s topics, such as the shared values. We compiled the data from the surveys, returned them to Ukrop's for further analysis, and began our attempt to critically review the program.