At Vanderbilt 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."
The Vanderbilt MBA program 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 is a three-day intensive immersion into the world of brand management for marketing students. Groups of students are given marketing problems and tasked with coming up with implementable solutions. Some companies that students have worked with are Brown-Forman, Papa John’s, GE, Mars Petcare, Frothy Monkey, Lizard Thicket, IMG, and BBQ in a Box, among others. Students have the opportunity to network and complete independent studies with participating organizations.
Click here to view photos.
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.
International 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. .
Student-led organizations provide outstanding opportunities for students to lead and learn outside of the classroom. Examples include Vanderbilt Marketing Association’s Marketing Madness, where 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 Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management 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 is an interdisciplinary course open to all graduate students at Vanderbilt University. The course examines the causes and symptoms of poverty, and varying methods of poverty alleviation. The course is designed to enable collaboration across different graduate disciplines and student perspectives on poverty and to prepare students for project work with domestic and international organizations. .
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.
The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to create and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive USD1 Million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community. Learn more.
Social Venture Summit
A student-run conference hosted by the Vanderbilt's Turner Family Center for Social Ventures featured speakers working in social enterprise to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities faced by social ventures.
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 Trek
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:
- Charlotte Finance Trek
- Day in the Bay: San Francisco
- Day by the Lake: Chicago
- Cardinal Trek
- Consulting Trek
- Tech Trek
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 and ) that assist new entrepreneurs to secure funding for ventures. See photos from Turning Owen Ideas into Reality event at the Entrepreneur Center.