Applied Learning Opportunities
Engage your skills. Engage your passion. Engage your curiosity.
Our project-based courses and experiential learning 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. Besides our proximity to businesses and organizations in Metro Atlanta, Athens itself is rich with project and learning opportunities and home to 50+ startups and small businesses, a startup incubator, and about 100 nonprofits. We source team-based projects for our students through the Consulting, Lean Six Sigma, and Innovation Projects courses, the Leadership Fellows Program, corporate-sponsored case competitions, and the MBA Volunteer Dawgs. Whatever you choose, you will have many opportunities to make important contributions to a company or nonprofit as a Georgia MBA while developing your skills as a leader and business professional.
Consulting Projects – MGMT 7440 Business & Corporate Strategy
This course not only prepares you for a consulting role, teaching you common consulting processes, templates, and deliverables, it enables you to develop a toolkit of skills and processes to succeed in a corporate environment—no matter what your career goal. Each student team is mentored by a consultant from a national consulting firm to solve a real problem for a client company. You’ll learn what it takes to drive change, advise a client, and interact at senior levels of an organization, as well as acquire the hard and soft skills that companies are looking for when hiring.
FinTech Projects – BUSN 7990 Capstone FinTech Project
This brand new course serves as the capstone to the Georgia MBA’s new FinTech area of focus. With the global FinTech payments industry, one of the fastest-growing, most innovative sectors in today’s economy, headquartered in Atlanta, the Georgia MBA program is sought out by FinTech companies to collaborate with them on cutting-edge projects. Serving last year as the University System of Georgia’s prototype for project-based, distance learning in the cloud, two teams of Georgia MBA students tackled projects for Global Payments, Inc., which estimated that the teams’ solutions would increase revenues by more than $150 million annually. This course serves as a springboard to students wishing to connect with executive management in the FinTech industry.
Innovative Business Projects – ENTR 7320
Creativity and innovation are essential to leading industries and organizations. Students learn the design thinking methodology and apply it to real world business problems in collaborative project teams. Our students have earned kudos from a wide range of companies, from for-profit corporations like Creature Comforts Brewery, Merial, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola-North America, salesforce.com, and Toyota Motor Sales-North America, to business startups and nonprofits like 1000 Faces Coffee, Athens Farmers Market, the CDC, the Downtown Dalton Issues Work Group, and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.
Lean Six Sigma – MGMT 7160
Students earn their Green Belt from a Master Black Belt instructor while tackling a project for organizations like Arby’s Restaurant Group, Athens Housing Authority, Benson’s Bakery and Hotels Group, Carter’s, Cox Communications, Equifax, Goodwill Industries, Mercy Health Center, PrintPack, Synovus Bank, and United Rentals.
Students earn 3 credit hours and gain invaluable international project experience through this course, which offers a trip to a different destination each spring and team projects for companies in the targeted country. Previous trips include Peru, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Argentina.
Leadership Fellows develop their leadership skills by applying them in a variety of contexts:
- Leading Evolving Organizations: This core course is taught by four Management faculty and utilizes a number of activities focused on leadership development and collaborative learning.
- Service Leadership Projects: Student teams undertake a service leadership project for a local non-profit or community organization. Recent participating non-profits include United Way, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Books for Keeps, the Clarke County School District’s Career Academy, The Ark (mentioned in a 2016 New York Times Magazine article for providing an alternative to payday lending), and Hope Haven (an agency that serves individuals with development disabilities).
- Dawgs on Top Case Competition: This internal case competition does double duty as an opportunity for all students to develop their strategic thinking, leadership abilities, and presentation skills, as well as to meet one of the requirements to earn an MBA Leadership Fellows certificate. As members of a company’s executive team, students make real-time business decisions that must serve diverse stakeholders—a Board of Directors, customers, community members, suppliers, and government entities—while preserving the company’s reputation and viability.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Non-Profit Board Fellows Program
This program places first year MBA students on boards of directors of Athens area non-profits through a competitive application process. Students serve as nonvoting, ex officio members through the four semesters of the MBA program (a 20-month term). Participating non-profits benefit from the energy and fresh perspectives of dedicated Fellows, the network of the Georgia MBA community, and help 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 their adopted community. 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, Hope Haven.
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 working with a team and faculty advisors and inspiring each other 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:
- 2018 ROMBA Case Competition (Second Place)
- 2018 Merck/NC State Grand Business Challenge (Second Place)
- 2017 SEC MBA Case Competition (First Place)
- 2017 Goizueta Healthcare Case Competition (First Place)
- 2016 & 2017 NAIOP (Real Estate) (First Place)
- 2016 Finalist, CFA Global Investment Research Challenge
- 2015/2014/2013 Atlanta ACG M&A Case Competition (First Place)
- 2014 Leeds Net Impact Case Competition (Sustainability) (First Place)
Our students complete 50 hours of volunteer service during their two years in Athens. Each year, our students complete more than 2,000 hours or service. Our students apply what they learn 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.