Engage your skills. Engage your passion. Engage your curiosity.
Our project-based courses 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. Athens 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+ startups and small businesses, a startup incubator, and about 100 nonprofits. We source team-based projects for our students through the Lean Six Sigma and Innovations Projects courses, the Leadership Fellows Program projects, and 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 nonprofit as a Georgia MBA.
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, Equifax, Goodwill Industries, Mercy Health Center, PrintPack, and United Rentals.
Applying innovation design principles to strategic business problems have earned kudos for our students from a wide range of companies, from for-profit corporations like Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola-North America, salesforce.com, and Toyota Motor Sales-North America, to business startups and nonprofits like 1000 Faces Coffee, the CDC, the Downtown Dalton Issues Work Group, and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.
Students earn 3 credit hours and gain invaluable experience through business and cultural visits each spring to a different destination. Previous trips include 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 (mentioned in a 2016 New York Times Magazine article 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.
Extracurricular Development Opportunities
The GBA serves as the umbrella for student-driven development opportunities. The VP of Experiential Learning focuses on sourcing and coordinating additional project opportunities that are cultivated throughout the program while the VP of Program Improvement works with staff to continuously develop and enrich the student experience, both academically and socially.
MBA Engage Events
MBA Engage enables students to take on leadership roles while designing career-related and extracurricular programming for their peers. The program supports these activities with resources and logistical support.
NonProfit Board Fellows Program
This program places first year MBA students on boards of directors of Athens-area nonprofits through a competitive application process. Students serve as non-voting, ex officio members through their final semester of the MBA program (a 20-month term). Participating nonprofits benefit from the energy and fresh perspectives of dedicated Fellows, the network of the Georgia MBA community, and by helping to shape the next generation of civic leaders. Students gain valuable governance experience as well as a unique avenue to put their MBA skill set into practice while making a positive impact on Athens. 2017 participating organizations include: American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia, Athens Area Community Foundation, Athens Community Council on Aging, Athens Land Trust, Athensmade, The Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia, and Hope Haven.
Four Athens, our local startup incubator, is partnering with the MBA program to offer project management opportunities. MBA students lead teams of undergraduates on semester-long consulting projects with local businesses and startups. Current projects include a revenue generation plan for a local arena, a competitive analysis for a retail space, and marketing for an e-commerce healthcare business.
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 SEC MBA Case Competition
- 2017 Goizueta Healthcare Case Competition
- 2016 & 2017 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)
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 skills muscles on a wide variety of projects, including one-time events like nonprofit fundraisers or more extensive projects like developing a business and fundraising plan for Five Freedom Farms, a dog rescue farm and animal sanctuary that provides “deaf space” to the local deaf community.
Members of the Georgia 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 university’s Office of Sustainability.