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UW Oshkosh BSC intern Carly Burns at 2017 AirVenture

A group of interns from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Business Success Center are using the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture as an opportunity to grow their skill-set.

While working on an economic impact consumer and exhibitor/vendor survey, seven UW Oshkosh students also are getting a real-world market research experience. The students are spending the week at AirVenture, which attracts more than 500,000 people and 10,000 airplanes each July, gathering surveys from about 500 consumers and about 200 vendors–all who help fuel Oshkosh’s economy while in town for the annual fly-in.

“For our students, this is an opportunity to collect data that impacts our region while also having fun and getting access to people from around the globe,” said Mindie Boynton, outreach program manager at the Business Success Center (BSC). “It’s an opportunity for them to be a part of something very meaningful to our area and their college experience.”

Boynton said the BSC  last executed an economic impact survey in 2008. It’s being done again in collaboration with EAA leaders.

Back on campus, the data gathered will be entered by students and analyzed by David Fuller, associate professor of economics.

The information the student interns are gathering at AirVenture asks about dollars spent on lodging, recreation, parking/transportation, groceries, fuel, entertainment and clothing.

“This experience at EAA is furthering my education by making me step out of my comfort zone by talking to a lot of different people from around the world and realizing how much people are willing to spend at this event,” said Madison Azarian, an economics major at UW Oshkosh.

Other student interns said just the AirVenture experience alone makes the opportunity with the BSC worth the time.

“It’s something you have to experience for yourself that no textbook or course can teach you. Working with EAA has challenged my ability to speed network with a variety of passionate respectable, aviation enthusiasts,” said Rachel Yelk, a marketing major.

Results for the economic impact consumer impact survey are expected to be available later this year.

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