Put Your Skills into Practice

Put Your Skills into Practice

At our recent kick-off event for the UC Davis MSBA program, Bryan Kirschner, Google’s API strategy lead, summed up the importance of hands-on learning by saying: “making the shift to be able to learn from doing and experimentation, is a tremendous advantage over the old way of doing things, and that’s something that there is a crying need for . . .”

Our UC Davis MSBA program prepares you with the experience Bryan and top executives around the world are demanding in new talent. Our Practicum goes beyond the typical capstone project in two ways.

First, our four Practicum-related courses run concurrently with the three other core competencies—Analytics, Data and Business—so you can apply your skills immediately. This maximizes both near and far transfer of tools, techniques and best practices learned in the classroom to the Practicum’s agile-inspired project flow.

Second, the longer-than-usual duration gives you the opportunity to move through the consulting spectrum: from simply providing information to building the trust necessary to make sustainable change in the client organization. This is essential to our goal: graduates who are ready to lead in the digital economy on day one.

How are Practicum teams formed and how do project assignments take place?

It is a three-stage process:

  1. Project Selection: We will have more project proposals from our corporate partners than the anticipated number of teams from the incoming class. Projects are selected based on the most compelling learning opportunities and the interests of students discovered during admission interviews.
  2. Team Formation: Teams of five students are assembled with complementary skills essential to business analytics success: business acumen, computing facility, organizational savvy, and quantitative knowledge. Faculty also match students’ interests within teams whenever possible.
  3. Project Assignment: Teams are aligned with corporate partner projects based on the students’ preferences and how team-members’ individual skills match the project requirements. For example, teams with higher interest in social impact may be assigned to a health policy or social innovation client. A team with an especially strong computing background may more naturally fit a project where larger data-sets require advanced computing work.

Our goal is to maximize your opportunity to learn. By forming teams that have the highest potential to deliver significant value for our corporate partners, the clients benefit, and you benefit from strong relationships with top executives at these firms.