Sponsored Report: Stritch’s high-impact curriculum emphasizes internships, community-based learning

Last updated on June 26th, 2019 at 01:08 pm

When making his way through a tall stack of resumes, Douglas Biggs, vice president of sales/marketing at Gilman Precision in Grafton, knows exactly what he is looking for.

As he hires for any entry level position, there is one element that must be on display for a resume to survive even the most basic level of scrutiny.

“The first thing I look for is an internship,” he said. “That’s the weeding out factor. If they don’t have one, they don’t move on.”

In a highly competitive job market, those graduates with the practical experience of an internship get noticed. Not only do their resumes stand out, but their demeanor in an interview is also highly distinct.

“They carry themselves differently,” said Biggs, who graduated from Stritch in 2011 with an MBA. “They understand what it takes to deal with tasks in a business environment. A deadline in college is different than a deadline in business, and those who have completed internships know that.”

This fundamental reality of the job market has led Stritch’s College of Business and Management to continually enhance and develop a curriculum based on high-impact educational practices, including an emphasis on internships, community-based learning, capstone courses and projects.

Pao Yang, a senior majoring in business marketing, is one of many Stritch students who model this practical approach. With graduation looming next May, Yang is already developing a portfolio and applying classroom theory in a professional setting as an intern at the David Barnett Gallery in Milwaukee.

Like most college students, Yang had previously worked an assortment of retail and food service jobs, but knew she needed more to differentiate herself in the competitive post-graduate environment that awaits her. The College of Business and Management was her partner in securing a marketing internship that would give her that advantage.

“For a career job, I knew my previous jobs were not enough,” she said. “I needed something that was a lot more professional. The gallery has been great, allowing me to grow in my field.”

As marketing intern for one of Milwaukee’s most prestigious art galleries, Yang has performed market research and has helped promote the gallery through the creation of brochures and other promotional pieces.

“As a college student, when you step into the world outside, it feels like the first day of school all over again,” she said. “But I’ve learned to apply my classroom knowledge of marketing, but also business law, accounting, and other areas.”

There are other examples of how the college connects the classroom experience with the broader community. Students are asked to plan and complete a community service project as part of their academic experience, allowing them to apply practical and strategic thinking in a manner that serves others. This underscores the university’s focus on Franciscan values and social responsibility as well as the college’s goal to prepare ethical graduates who will help businesses achieve a balance of people, planet and profit.

The college also offers students a series of guest speakers comprised of prominent Stritch alumni and other successful leaders. The very well received Business Leaders with a Conscience Speakers Series presents business leaders who have discovered responsible ways to navigate complex business environments and who want to employ people who know how to collaborate and make innovative and ethical decisions.
Biggs also serves on Stritch’s Business Advisory Board, which is comprised of an impressive cross section of business professionals from throughout the region.

“The Business Advisory Board allows Stritch to be nimble,” he said. “This is Stritch reaching out to identify the needs of businesses in the community and educating students to meet those needs.”

Graduates of the college’s daytime, evening and online programs are prepared to step into the 21st century workforce with the skills necessary to compete at every level. Yang, for one, is a student on a path to do exactly that, as she sets her sights on a marketing career with a large corporation after graduation.

“I’ve done a lot of planning, and I worked very hard to [secure the internship],” she said. “Stritch made it very easy; questions were answered before I even started. I believe that whatever field of study you’re in, find an internship. To find one, it’s a huge advantage. ”

Stritch’s College of Business and Management offers certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in an accelerated evening format in classrooms in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and many of these programs are also offered online. Traditional daytime undergraduate business and management programs are also available at Stritch’s main campus in Milwaukee.

Recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the leading specialized accreditation association for business programs, the curriculum is innovative in both approach and content. Students acquire invaluable cross-cultural and critical thinking abilities for our global world. Learn more at www.stritch.edu.

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