Gies launches nation’s largest experiential learning course
July 10, 2021
The Gies College of Business will launch the largest experiential learning course in the nation, Business 301: Business in Action, this fall.
Business in Action is part of a four-course sequence that runs from freshman to senior year. The course will enroll approximately 800 students working on more than 130 individual client projects with actual clients. The purpose of this course is to offer real-world experience to students in order to better prepare them to succeed after graduation.
As part of the course, students will work in teams of five to six students for 16 weeks to identify the problem, create a solution and present their findings to their clients. The projects given will include market analysis, financial modeling, strategy and growth, data and technology and more.
Teams are coached and mentored by senior-level Gies students who take a 400-level Project Management in Action course.
“Some are sponsored by our corporate partners, while others are brought to us by alumni who want to give back to our college and to the next generation of students,” said Marissa Siero, corporate engagement and programs manager, with regards to the clients of these projects.
These include actual Fortune 100 companies, mid-size and startup companies and nonprofits. They come from a variety of industries, both locally and nationwide.
“We believe that experiential learning is a critical value-add in higher education, especially in business,” Siero said. “This takes what the students have learned in class and allows them to apply those skills to real business problems for real clients.”
Siero added that applying newly learned skills, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work and repeating again on a new set of business problems would prepare students to land great jobs and succeed in their careers from day one.
Data from the website stated that out of many who participated in semester-long client projects over the last two years, 89% reported that “learning by doing” improved their Gies experience, and 95% said that they had “a better story to tell recruiters.