Our experiential learning and development opportunities prepare you to solve complex business problems in ambiguous contexts. We offer coursework, projects, and student leadership roles that foster a learning environment focused on the practical application of knowledge. The Athens environment is rich with project and learning opportunities for our students. Besides our proximity to larger businesses and organizations in Metro Atlanta, Athens itself is home to 50+ start-ups and small businesses, a start-up incubator, and about 100 non-profits. We source team-based projects for our students through the Lean Six Sigma and Innovations Projects courses, the Leadership Fellows Program projects, corporate-sponsored case competitions and short-term volunteer service projects with Volunteer Dawgs. Whatever you choose, you will have many opportunities to make important contributions to a company or non-profit as a UGA MBA.
Capstone Simulation in Management Strategy
Student teams compete in an interactive, real-time simulated market, developing a business strategy and implementing it, making the decisions, compromises and trade-offs that managers face every day. They put theory into practice and learn first-hand how decisions by individual parts of a business affect the entire enterprise.
Critical Design Thinking
Creativity and innovation are essential to leading industries and organizations. Students learn design thinking and apply the methodology to real world business problems in collaborative project teams. Last spring, a team of students developed a five-year technology roadmap for the Head of Autonomous Vehicles at General Motors.
Lean Six Sigma
Students earn their Green Belt from a Master Black Belt instructor while tackling a project for organizations like Carter’s, Inc., Equifax, Inc., Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Mercy Health Center, Printpack, and United Rentals, Inc.
Applying innovation design principles to strategic business problems has earned kudos for our students from a wide range of companies, from for-profit corporations like Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, Inc., Coca-Cola North America, Salesforce.com, Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. to business start-ups and non-profits like 1,000 Faces Coffee, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Downtown Dalton Issues Work Group, and The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.
Students earn three credit hours and gain invaluable experience through business and cultural visits every other spring to a different destination. Previous trips have gone to China, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Argentina.
In their second year Leadership Fellows explore their personal leadership assets by applying them to a business crisis and to a social challenge faced by the Athens community. In the crisis challenge, as members of a company’s executive team, students are presented with a business crisis and make decisions that serve diverse stakeholders—a Board of Directors, customers, community members, suppliers, and government entities—while preserving the company’s reputation and viability. In partnership with the Athens Area Community Foundation, student teams work with non-profit organizations, like The Ark (recently mentioned in the New York Times Magazine for providing an alternative to payday lending), Hope Haven (an agency that serves individuals with development disabilities), the Athens-Clarke County government, and the Clarke County School District on such issues as affordable housing, transitioning to a charter school system, strategic planning, and developing a mentoring program for high school students.
Our students complete 50 hours of volunteer service during their two years in Athens. Last year, they completed more than 2,200 hours. Our students flex their hard and soft skill muscles on a wide variety of projects, including one-time events like non-profit fundraisers or more extensive projects like developing a business and fund-raising plan for Five Freedom Farms, a dog rescue farm and animal sanctuary that provides “deaf space” to the local deaf community.
Members of the UGA MBA Net Impact Chapter consult with local companies on achieving B-Corp certification, most recently with Terrapin Brewery and Ad Victoriam Solutions. MBA students have also worked on campus-wide projects with the UGA Office of Sustainability.
MBA students are encouraged to compete in at least one case competition before graduating. With all travel costs covered by Terry, students are asked only to give their best efforts and time. In return, they receive invaluable experience learning, working with a team and advisors, and inspiring teammates to give their best. Cash awards go entirely to the team and are split evenly among the students. Recent big wins for Terry MBAs include:
- 2017 Goizueta Healthcare Case Competition
- 2016 NAIOP (Real Estate)
- 2016 Finalist, CFA Global Investment Research Challenge
- 2015/2014/2013 Atlanta ACG Case Competition (Finance)
- 2014 Leeds Net Impact Case Competition (Sustainability)
The GBA serves as the umbrella for student-driven development opportunities. The Vice President of Experiential Learning focuses on sourcing and coordinating additional project opportunities that are cultivated throughout the program while the Vice President of Program Improvement works with staff to continuously develop and enrich the student experience, both academically and socially.