At UConn, experiential learning integrates classroom learning with practical application, bringing together talented MBA students, top business faculty, and front-line industry executives to investigate and develop solutions to real-world, real-time, complex challenges facing business today. Part of the UConn MBA educational model for nearly two decades, experiential learning is designed to close the “knowing-doing” gap between theory and practice. It occurs in many forms at UConn, from “live case” class projects, to case competitions, to complete project-based experiential learning courses delivered through our innovative Learning Accelerators.
These unique semester-long, practice-based initiatives are designed to provide UConn MBA students a competitive edge—the highly desirable real-world experience that today’s global businesses demand. The intense educational model of an Accelerator significantly benefits all parties involved: it provides a dynamic learning environment for students that merges traditional education with practical experience, it delivers tangible, innovative solutions to current market challenges faced by sponsoring companies, and it offers a real-world lab for faculty research.
The Experiential Learning Collaborative
(ELC) UConn students and the business community together through collaboration on real-world projects. Participation in collaborative projects introduces students to contemporary business practices and helps business executives recognize the high potential of UConn students as their future employees. The ELC develops and facilitates the ecosystem of cross-disciplinary experiential learning, provides qualified help to business clients, and introduces students to advanced business practices.
Run through the Financial Accelerator and reporting to the UConn Investment Advisory Board, UConn’s Student Managed Fund (SMF)
has been managing a $2 million portion of the UConn Foundation’s portfolio since 2000. The MBA team manages stock research, selection and portfolio management, and is treated by the UConn Foundation like any other outside professional fund manager of the University’s endowment money. Aside from enhancing their marketability to potential employers, students gain vital first-hand experience in investment and portfolio management, and work closely with seasoned professional investment managers within the Investment Advisory Board.
UConn’s Innovation Accelerator (IA)
is part of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and assists entrepreneurial ventures in addressing complex challenges associated with the identification and capture of business opportunities. The IA uses interdisciplinary project teams composed of graduate and undergraduate students that solve complex business issues for Connecticut technology-based startups.
The Sustainable Community Outreach and Public Engagement (SCOPE) Accelerator
promotes social entrepreneurship and social innovation by working with non-profit organizations and for-profit companies that have social outreach and community impact as a significant part of their strategic missions. We apply a business-centric lens to improve the sustainability and effectiveness of these organizations.
Sample of Financial Accelerator Project Sponsors