Focus Firm Class
Rather than simply analyzing case studies and running through simulations, the Focus Firm project gives students actual company experience, which will help build your resume.
At the start of the semester, executives from the Focus Firm discuss the company's goals and culture with student teams. Next, teams work with project sponsors in the organization to collect data, research trends, develop recommendations, and finally present findings to company executives.
In fall 2015, four MBAs worked with project sponsors, representing the City of North Bay in Ontario, Canada, to conduct a survey in order to research community perceptions. In spring 2016, the Focus Firm class will analyze the survey results and craft recommendations for the City of North Bay. Take a quick look at the Phase One (fall 2015) presentation to the City of North Bay on the Invest in North Bay webpage.
Recent Focus Firm companies include:
- Best Buy
- Briggs and Stratton
- Darden Restaurants
- Dish Network
- Guidestone Financial Services
- Hillcrest Hospital
- Nike Basketball
Venture Capital Associates
As part of the Venture Capital Practicum class (ENT 5331), MBA students travel weekly to G-51 Capital Management, LLC. in Austin. At G-51, students scour new investment plans in order to evaluate the legitimacy of the opportunities clarify issues ranging from market size to the protection of intellectual property.
Monthly, students participate in a "deal review" that entails each student pitching the various plans under his purview and giving his recommendations to the G-51 managers. Students are exposed to various types of business plans, ranging from software to manufacturing.
Portfolio Management Practicum
MBA students enrolled in the Practicum in Portfolio Management class manage an investment portfolio valued at $5 million. The class meets in the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center to learn the tools and techniques used by investment professionals to analyze and select individual stocks.