Volume 13 No. 1 SPRING 2012

I’m Experienced
Curriculum innovation helps MBA students stand out in a tight job market

The Smith School’s newly revised MBA curriculum focuses on a flexible approach that lets students customize their experiential learning to their career goals.

One of the key program components is called the “Smith Experience,” a block of six credits that students fulfill with two experiential learning projects of their choice in five different focus areas – consulting, global, social value creation, investing and entrepreneurship. Students get hands-on experience with businesses and organizations in the Washington, D.C., metro area and also with partners around the world, either deepening their expertise in a given area or exploring something completely new.

“It’s important to have a story to tell when an interviewer asks you to describe your leadership, teamwork, analysis and communication skills,” says Hugh Courtney, vice dean. “Think of the things that make a team effective: discovering complementary skills, building trust and relationships. A Smith Experience gives students the opportunity to hone their skills in groups, which is the way you gain skills on the job. This is the kind of experience employers like to see.”

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