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MISSOULA BUSINESS OWNER FINDS SUCCESS IN UM’S MBA PROGRAM


(UM Photo by Coral Scoles-Coburn)

Written by Kyle Spurr, UM News Service 


MISSOULA – In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to make people feel isolated, University of Montana alumna Syann Stevens created a platform to connect residents, businesses and organizations across Missoula. 


Stevens founded TAPMissoula, a local social-media hub that offers a safe, virtual space for individuals, existing networks and community groups to stay connected. The online hub helped people promote their books, art shows and yard sales, among other activities and interests. 


A year later, Stevens wanted to evolve TAPMissoula beyond the pandemic and have the platform continue to foster connections in her hometown. She enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at UM’s College of Business to develop new entrepreneurial skills and support her company. Stevens is now finishing her third year in the MBA program. 


“Being in the program has really helped me narrow down and focus on what it is we are providing and who we are providing it for,” she said. “Those questions are not easy to answer. The framework that the MBA program offers has really helped clarify that.” 

Paul Gladen, associate vice president for research and economic development at UM, was an adjunct professor when Stevens began the MBA program. 


Gladen said he enjoys teaching MBA students, like Stevens, who already have established businesses and bring that experience into the classroom. 


Born and raised in Missoula, Stevens earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance and choreography from UM in 2004 and moved to Los Angeles, where she joined the SAG-AFTRA union after doing stunt work for CSI:NY, traveled globally in the tech industry and taught yoga and guided meditation at companies in Silicon Beach. She co-founded a company, JSJ International Inc. in 2011 and TAPMissoula is a product of that company. 




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13 de mai.

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