College of Business Integrated Business Program
In order to enhance student learning with hands-on, real-world business experience, the College of Business has created a novel integrated curriculum for all undergraduate business administration majors and as an option for other business majors. The Integrated Business Program holistically connects finance, management, and marketing into a 16-unit course block during one semester of students’ sophomore or junior year. Students apply their integrated business skills by forming a company, determining the target market and product, developing a business plan, seeking a loan from a bank, and selling their product throughout the semester. All proceeds are donated to charity.
To get the business up and running, students present their business concept and plan to a bank officer in order to secure a $2,500 loan. While running their startup, students are responsible for managing all aspects of the business, including but not limited to operations, procuring or manufacturing products, inventory control, finance, marketing (including website development and promotion), sales, etc.
Faculty, a student advisor, and the College of Business O’Brien Career Center staff aid students through this rigorous and exciting semester.
In addition to entrepreneurship, students learn social responsibility by donating proceeds to a nonprofit charity of their choice. Recent recipients have included the American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish, and the Leroy Haynes Center (a local provider of mental health and addiction recovery services).
Students who have completed the program say it was the “highlight of their academic career,” “reinforced what we learned in class in the real world,” and “helped me understand business as a whole, where all the disciplines are needed and work together.”