Strategic Business Consulting at The University of Iowa's Business Solutions Center (BSC) is a unique experiential learning opportunity that sets Tippie apart from other business schools. Cross-functional teams of MBA students work with business executives on real-world business problems under the guidance of the BSC directors Rich Boulger, who is a former Accenture partner, and Shannon Juergens.
In the BSC, Tippie MBAs are treated as consultants, not students. They're expected to handle themselves as on-the-job professionals with clients, BSC directors, colleagues, and supervisors. MBA consultants learn how business works, participate in actual business decisions, and experience the impact of their decisions alongside the client. As consultants, students are able to apply theories to real-world settings, which grounds education in reality, where real learning can happen.
Companies are assigned a team of 4 to 7 MBA students with diverse backgrounds in finance, marketing, technology, strategy, and innovation to work remotely on highly analytical projects defined by the company. Projects are structured over a 16 week period during which students give weekly status reports with the client, MBA team, and directors. In addition, three in person meetings occur that include a project kick-off lunch, formal midpoint and final presentations. The BSC provides companies with access to state of the art analytical talent at a very low cost, and allows them to "test drive" a group of students prior to internship or employment decisions. The lessons learned as consultants in the BSC are invaluable to Tippie MBAs and we would like to thank all of this year's clients for providing our students with this excellent learning opportunity.