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Real experience is hard to beat

Imagine yourself two years from now.

It’s your final semester in the MBA program. You’re interviewing with a Fortune 100 company and talking about the classes you took at your top-ranked MBA program.

Now imagine the alternative. Same high-stakes interview, same company. Instead of coursework, you're telling them about the $5 million equity portfolio you’ve been managing, your consulting projects with GE Healthcare and that Brazilian telecom giant, or that medical device you helped bring to market—all at the same time you were getting your MBA.

Your interview just got a whole lot more interesting.

That’s because employers know, no matter how stellar the faculty (and Iowa’s is pretty stellar) or relevant the courses, you really don’t know what you know until you’ve applied it in the real world. Experience matters. And at Tippie, we’ve made it an integral part of the Full-time MBA Program for the last 10-plus years.

First year, first consulting gig

We think "real" is valuable enough that it shouldn't wait until your second year. Besides, what good is the real-world experience if it can't help you land a summer internship, or help you be a rockstar once you get there?

Iowa MBA Consulting

A paying client and the opportunity to make a big impact on real business challenges. What more could a consultant want? In your second semester, take on an Iowa MBA Consulting project and address a strategic issue for a real business client.

Henry Fund—portfolio management

It doesn't get any more real than cold, hard cash. If you’re studying finance, you can apply to be an analyst for the Henry Fund, the Iowa MBA's student-run endowed investment portfolio.

What's Iowa MBA Consulting?

In a nutshell, it's the Iowa MBA's consulting arm. Companies come to us for help tackling their business challenges and projects. We match them with MBA student consultants based on their background, skills, and interests.

Before the project starts, you'll meet with your client and learn firsthand about the project and the company. Armed with information, you'll define project scope and deliverables. Over the next 16 weeks, you and your team will deliver a midpoint presentation, an endpoint presentation, and final deliverables. 

If things get shaky...

Like any consulting project, sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. Scope creep, goal changes, and iffy communication can derail projects. You aren't left to fend for yourself when things get tricky. Each team is guided by the Iowa MBA Consulting director, who brings years of industry experience to the table. The director advises your team on communication and client and project management.

The fact that clients pay for your services means stakes are high. But it's those high stakes that make the experience real, and so singularly valuable.

See past projects

Year two: even more "real" for the taking

Business analytics, finance, and marketing projects

In year two, you'll complete a consulting project for another client. Whereas the Iowa MBA Consulting project was cross-functional, this one applies directly to business analytics, finance, or marketing.

Portfolio management, part two

If you're a Henry Fund analyst, you'll continue your work as a portfolio manager for another semester.

Be a consulting team lead

Hungry for more "real"? Tackle another Iowa MBA Consulting project, this time as a team leader. Test your leadership skills and step outside your comfort zone to guide a team of first-year MBAs in their first consulting engagement.

Take on extra projects

There are always consulting opportunities coming in, sometime requiring a team and others needing just one MBA consultant. Your career academy director can connect you with these projects—just raise your hand and say you're up for the challenge (and the resume boost).

Beyond consulting projects

We offer a plethora of options to get "real" without the boundaries of a typical consulting engagement. You can:

There's no shortage of options to add experience to your resume alongside your MBA.

Alumni Story
Justin Botts

Add global business to your resume

Justin Botts (MBA12) took a global course that traveled to Hong Kong and southern China to get a firsthand look of how U.S. companies conduct business in Asia. While his former employer Continental was global in scope, he hadn’t experienced business at that level.

Working through some of the cultural issues that pop up when U.S. citizens go overseas to get business was good exposure that Botts has actually leveraged at United Airlines.

Read Story