As the first semester of my second year as an MBA comes to a close, I would like to reflect on how the curriculum has been different between my first and second years in the program. As first year MBAs, we take classes concerned with the most traditional areas of business: from Accounting to Marketing, from Finance to Strategy, and beyond. But as second years, we get the opportunity to dive deeper into these topics, and sometimes this comes in the form of student-client pairings.
In my Advertising class, for example, our class has been partnered with Crimson Cup, a consulting, wholesaling and specialty roasting independent coffee company. The lectures for the class come from creative people at the largest independent creative agency in the country: Resource/Ammirati. Using their agency’s approach to digital advertising, we, students, are designing a digital strategy for Crimson Cup to grow their business.
Another student-client pairing that I have been a part of came from the Business and the Environment Class in which I am enrolled. The client our class is working with is
Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that has high awareness and a strong global presence. Our class was split into groups to focus on solving Marketing, Recycling and Repurposing, Product Procurement, Domestic Micro-Enterprise, and Viral Campaign problems that their organization is currently facing.
Perhaps the most valuable part of this pairing comes from the fact that each group was instantly connected to a C-Suite executive at Soles4Souls. For example, my group was connected with Kevin Cherep, the Chief Development Officer, who was in attendance for our final presentation. With his direction, my group took off on a journey to draft a creative marketing strategy for their organization’s Travel Program.
While it’s important to get touch all of the bases of business through the first year of the MBA program, I feel that the most learning comes from these kinds of projects where we get to work with an organization through student-client pairings. Through these pairings, we, as students have the opportunity to develop connections with existing business leaders, and we get the opportunity learn on the job, if you will. While internships provide us with real-life experience, so too do these student-client pairing opportunities. And as a student currently on the job market, I know that these pairing opportunities will be an invaluable way for me to show what I can do in any future interviews.