Experiential Learning
Experiential Learning

At Owen, learning is an active experience. You will have access to wide array of hands-on activities, including industry-focused immersion experiences, conferences, career treks, case competitions, entrepreneurial opportunities and more.

We encourage you to explore the many ways students are involved in “learning by doing."

Curriculum: LEARN THROUGH IMMERSION

Owen offers extraordinary opportunities to gain real-world practice in your intended career field. In these intensive experiences, you will acquire practical experience, sharpen your insights and enhance your professional skills. Examples include:

BrandWeek
BrandWeek is a three-day intensive immersion into the world of brand management for marketing students. This year, executives from Brown-Forman, Papa John’s and GE came to campus to share their insights on issues such as social marketing and consumer engagement. The class included a team case assignment for Mars Petcare.
Click here to view photos.Brandweek

Health Care Immersion
This innovative course immerses students into the real world of U.S. health care delivery through the perspectives of physicians, nurses, patients, scientists and administrators in actual health care settings. Experiences include watching actual surgeries being performed, visits to Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight critical-care helicopter service, the Mass Spectrometry Research Center and community clinics. Click here to view photos.

Real Estate Capstone Project
This project-oriented course is offered in conjunction with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's School of Architecture. Students are involved in proposing a comprehensive plan for a large-scale real estate development project. The class culminates with a presentation to real estate professionals. Read more.

Turkey TripInternational Seminar Courses

Each year, the Global Business Association offers a structured trip to a major international business center. This year, students spent a week in Istanbul learning about Turkish business. They toured two universities, the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the largest telecom company in Turkey, a Turkish private equity firm, and the Turkish equivalent of Yahoo. Click here to view photos.



STUDENT Organizations

Student-led organizations provide outstanding opportunities for students to lead and learn outside of the classroom. Examples include Vanderbilt Marketing Association’s Marketing Madness, whereMarketing Madness students compete to create the best booth for a sponsoring organization in a tradeshow-style setting; plant tours sponsored by the Operations Club; and career symposia sponsored by the Human and Organizational Performance Association. Click here for a list of Owen student organizations. Note that students create new clubs each year, so the list is always changing.

Student-Managed Investment Funds

Max Adler Student Investment Fund (MASIF)

This student-run long-only equity investment fund sponsors a student through his or her first year at Vanderbilt. This happens after the fund reaches a certain value, taking inflation and other costs into account. The goal of MASIF is to provide Vanderbilt MBA students with an opportunity to gain experience in investment management and research. Students learn to actively manage the fund, which now consists of four portfolios, and beat a benchmark each year.

TVA Investment Challenge

TVA’s Investment Challenge is a unique, innovative partnership between TVA and 24 universities in its service territory that provides a real-world learning experience in portfolio management. The Challenge gives teams of students hands-on experience in managing TVA stock portfolios. Students actively manage TVA funds by designing long-term investment strategies, placing trades, and providing performance reports to TVA—all under the guidance of a faculty member. Students learn how to manage real money and all the requirements that come along with it and are held to similar guidelines as TVA’s professional money managers. Each year, seven Vanderbilt MBA students work together to manage upwards of $300,000. Read more.

EVENTS AND INITIATIVES

Vanderbilt Healthcare Improvement Group

The Vanderbilt Healthcare Improvement Group (VHIG) is an interprofessional community of Vanderbilt education, management, medicine and nursing students committed to advancing education and student participation in quality improvement in health care. In an interdisciplinary elective course managed jointly by students from Owen, the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, students work in teams to tackle a quality improvement project at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Project Pyramid Project Pyramid

Project Pyramid is a coalition of Vanderbilt University graduate students committed to addressing issues of poverty through sustained partnerships with community organizations, education in and out of the classroom, and responsive action. Learn more.

Vanderbilt Health Care Conference

The Vanderbilt Health Care Conference and Career Fair (VHCC) brings national speakers with big ideas to Nashville to discuss policy, innovative care, economics and technology while recruiting top health care MBA students from across the country. This conference is led and managed by Vanderbilt MBA students. Learn more.

Case Competitions

Owen student teams consistently meet with success in competitions, demonstrating excellence in leadership, teamwork, analysis and problem solving and outperforming some of the world’s best-known business schools. Click here for a list of case competitions.

National MBA Human Capital Case Competition

Owen students manage this national case competition, now in its sixth year. Funded by GE and Deloitte Consulting, the competition pits teams from top graduate schools across the country against each other to address a real-world human capital issue and present solutions relevant in today’s fast-paced global economy. Teams will present their solutions to a team of esteemed corporate judges from GE and Deloitte Consulting. Learn more.

“I would encourage all students to take part in at least one case competition. The depth of learning and the experience gained are completely worth the effort.”
Doug Midkiff, Vanderbilt MBA 2012, The Case for Case Competitions

CAREER IMMERSION AND TREKS

The Career Management Center offers opportunities for students to visit selected cities to meet with executives and alumni to get firsthand industry knowledge and learn about employment opportunities. Examples include:

Wall Street Week
Each year, students exploring careers in finance travel with the Career Management Center to New York to meet with financial services firms such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Guggenheim Partners, JP Morgan and UBS. Firms talk about the industry, the economy and career paths within their companies. Students also have the opportunity to network with alums at the meetings and a reception. Click here to view photos.

Other career immersion opportunities include:Wall Street Week
  • New York Interview Day
  • Energy Trek
  • Asia Trek
  • Day in the Bay
  • Southeastern MBA Schools Interview Forum (SEMBASIF)

ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Most schools take would-be entrepreneurs only as far as developing a business plan. At Vanderbilt, you can start a business. And while you’ll gain the knowledge to support such a project, that’s just the beginning for startups. We connect you with all kinds of resources, from networking with local entrepreneurs to organizations (including the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the Nashville Capital Network and Jumpstart Foundry) that assist new entrepreneurs to secure funding for ventures. Learn more.


Kate Haffey Kate Haffey
MBA 2011

Summer Associate, Human Resource Development Program
Bank of America

I have been able to take advantage of the abundance of opportunities available at Owen, whether attending C-Suite guest speakers, doing an independent study with the Coca-Cola Company, sitting in on roundtable discussions with entrepreneurs, helping brainstorm ideas for fellow classmates’ business plans, learning about Japanese business etiquette, tasting foods from around the world at the Global Food Festival, connecting with donors to thank them for their contributions to Owen, or learning all about the backend of the music industry. There are so many opportunities to learn new things, get involved in projects, test skills I had not yet been able to develop in my past experiences, and stretch myself outside my comfort zone.