Every year Universities assign students in their Business School projects. Come up with a business, make a business plan, develop a marketing plan and submit it to the class. This makes sense for students and professors and is an excellent way to learn.
Unfortunately these students will use deception to seek information for their project by pretending to be interested parties of goods or services of real companies in order to gain this information, without revealing they are actually students doing a research project. Although this goes on in the real world of competitive intelligence gathering it teaches the students bad and unethical traits, which they will use later in the real business world.
With corporate corruption at issue in the United States at least with regards to media and regulators, why are we allowing students to lie or looking the other way when we know they are doing this? So much for ethics; apparently the dishonesty is being taught in the liberal land of academics, the same schools, which pretend to teach ethics, foster unethical-ness. This should not be too surprising to anyone, yet it is indeed in need of being pointed out, thus this article.
Often a student will pretend to be a buyer of services or products to gain information while using their @university.edu email address. Most smart business people know that these are bogus inquiries. When they come into our company we usually reply something like this:
"I see you are a student, graduate, administrator or professor at the University is this correct? If so, how long would it be before you choose to enter the industry? Or are you considering do a research project for school? If so what information do you need."
If they are an actual buyer then usually they will correct us and say; "No, I am seriously interested." Yet they often do this because they do not want to be caught in a lie, fabrication of truth or complete falsehood. So, we indicate, call us when you graduate. Then someone else on their "Business Class Team" will email us, always from the same area about a day or a day and a half later, this time more honest. We feel this is good as we are teaching them to be truthful while the Universities deal in lies allowing for dishonesty.
Recently such an email came through and it was; firstname.lastname@example.org instead of matching the actual name of the submitted inquiry. This the name of the inquiry is probably incorrect and completely fabricated; a lie or AKA. Rather than get upset for these students wasting our time. We replied to this fake inquiry;
"Dear Sir, Your email address does not match your name. Why is this? "A Wakefield" could be a family name, thus there could be misdirection here for some purpose, which would be a tactical error, as you are asking for free information from us. Integrity is the best policy for our correspondence."
Further we asked them questions to make them work for their project, as our company is not interested in getting an "A" in their class as we are in the real world not the BS fantasy world with unethical students and professors who have never had to make a payroll in their lives for the most part; having never been in business. What about the students being used to collect information for a professor wanting to gather data to start his own company, you know this goes on too. Either way these students are going to have to work for it. So we sent these questions back to the students;
"What part of the car wash industry do you see yourself in or what part of the car wash industry are you doing a college project on? Full service car wash, flex serve, robotic, mobile or truck washing? All would be good in your current location or market. Do you see yourself leaving this area after graduation or in the future? Each region in the United States is slightly different and those differences have large effects on how one might strategize to maximize profits?"
Indeed this seems to work as we have not heard back a reply nor do we expect one. We believe this to be because not only are the students unethical and wish to take short cuts in their research and cheat, but that they are also completely lacking worth ethic and are basically lazy. I challenge the next up and coming university students to get off your asses and do your own work, learn all there is to learn and practice some of those ethics that your liberal skewed world in college so gallantly proclaims. Because I think it is appalling the lack of personal character these days in our Universities from the highly paid Professors to the students.