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Daniels College Launches First-of-Its Kind MBA Program

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University of Denver

The Denver MBA takes students out of the classroom and into the business world

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Daniels College of Business

This fall, University of Denver students enrolled in The Denver MBA program through the Daniels College of Business will embark on a new journey filled with opportunity, challenges and real-world experience outside the classroom.

Daniel Baack, assistant dean and director of The Denver MBA, says the 20-month program introduces an experiential curriculum designed to provide students with the skills and experience employers want most. It goes beyond the traditional core courses to expose students to hands-on business environment, creative problem-solving and strategic thinking skills.

The program, he says, was reinvented to better respond to market trends and to better connect students to the market in which they will be working. Approximately 50 students are enrolled for the fall.

The Denver MBA has three core components and is based on the “Daniels Difference,” a unique blend of real-time learning, market-connectivity and leadership development. The components include: challenge-driven education, where students work on real-time business issues affecting domestic and international markets; market-based, which prepares students to master what’s taught in the classroom while solving actual challenges in the real word; and personalized leadership, which provides students with personal, ongoing leadership training from world-class executive coaches.

The program also incorporates a set of four core business challenges, including enterprise, corporate, social good and global business issues. Students will complete the challenges as part of small teams that include a faculty advisor, business professionals and a personal coach. Challenges and classes happen simultaneously.

Baack adds that the learning that students do in the morning will be put into action in the afternoon. This allows them to come back to class with a clearer idea of what they do and don’t understand, as well as what they need and don’t need to get the job done.

The core benefit to any business degree is career, and The Denver MBA has built personalized career preparation into the program’s challenge-driven education model.

Elrie LaBrent “Brent” Chrite, dean of the Daniels College of Business, says The Denver MBA model is powered by a “personal growth agenda” that combines career services with academic advising and executive coaching.

“Business schools should produce graduates with the skills and abilities that companies need most,” he said. “The classroom isn’t the best setting for developing these skills, and that’s why we’re taking Denver MBA students out of the classroom and into the business world. Though employers demand it and students thrive in it, no other school is doing this kind of challenge-driven management education.”

The program, adds Chrite, brings together academic training, the pressures of a real-world business environment, assessment and self-improvement.