Integrated Business Experience Course
A focal theme of the MS Business program is “learning business by doing business.” In addition to an emphasis on experiential and team-based learning in all of the MS Business courses, the program includes the BUAD 720, Integrated Business Experience (IBE), course as part of the Mays vibrant learning community. In the IBE course, students create a business and organize a service entity which will enable them to learn business by doing business.
Students work in teams of 8-10 to form companies. Each company identifies a product or service they would like to sell, conducts market research to determine how their product would be received, develops a business plan for a new company, and requests up to $2,000 in start-up funds from loan officers of a financial institution. Aggieland Credit Union partnered with the MS Business program to provide funding for up to five companies each year.
After a successful pitch to the loan officers, the companies use the funds obtained from the loan to run their business for the remainder of the academic semester. Running the business includes activities like negotiating with a manufacturer to produce their product idea or working with vendors to purchase the raw material to use for producing their product; creating websites and social media profiles to use for selling; collecting payments from customers; paying vendors or other creditors; and delivering products.
At the end of the semester, each company closes their business and donates the profits from the business to a non-profit organization. In addition, students organize a service entity that works with a local, non-profit, charitable organization by contributing service hours. The integrated business experience allows students to integrate what they learn from other courses in the program into a singular experience of running a business.