Powerful Partnerships

Students, Executives Form Powerful Partnerships in Specific Industries

Last year, top executives from major companies met weekly with a group of trusted collaborators to discuss, dissect, and brainstorm possible solutions to issues facing their organizations and industries.

The collaborators in this case were undergraduate students at Fisher taking part in the innovative Industry Clusters program. By all accounts, the pilot program — emphasizing experiential learning through partnerships with industry practitioners — was a marked success.

90 percent of Industry Clusters students secured internships or post graduate employment with companies such as Alcoa, Cardinal Health, DuPont, Ford Motor Company, and General Electric

“(The students) absolutely surprised me insofar as their eagerness to learn and their eagerness to challenge my paradigms and our company’s paradigms,” said Kevin Kramer, president of growth initiatives at Alcoa and an alumnus of The Ohio State University.

The Industry Clusters program was designed to immerse students in a specific industry. Health care and energy/sustainability were the two clusters offered during the 2010-2011 academic year. Intensive exposure to these industries came through course work co-taught by corporate executives and Fisher faculty. Students also undertook team projects addressing current issues facing the participating companies.

Industry Partners

Energy/sustainability: Accenture, Alcoa, and The Dow Chemical Company

Health care: Cardinal Health and OhioHealth

Fisher Perspective

“The hands-on learning was phenomenal . . . It was actual work experience, too, which you don’t expect to get before you graduate.”Rachel Rutledge

, health care cluster student, recipient of the Ernst & Young Scholarship

“The compliments we have received from the company executives have been wonderful … This is a great opportunity to showcase Fisher.”H. Rao Unnava, the W. Arthur Cullman Professorship in Marketing and associate dean of undergraduate programs.

Industry Clusters Videos

undergraduate business student - click to watch video about Industry clusters program

Fisher faculty and students and industry experts discuss the Undergraduate Industry Clusters program.

Kevin Kramer of Alcoa - click to watch video about Alcoa's involvement in the industry clusters program

Alcoa executives along with Fisher faculty and students talk about how the Industry Cluster program is changing people’s minds and the business community.

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