|The new John F. Welch College of Business
and the Department of Communication &
Media Studies building scheduled to open
at the end of 2014
The Welch College of Business (WCOB) Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Lab is an interdisciplinary experiential learning program designed to expose students to real-world business problems requiring real-time applied solutions. Students analyze a complex business question or problem, using an extensive process of inquiry with support from faculty advisors and regular feedback from the corporate partner. The program is designed to mutually benefit our students and the local business community, by providing high-quality business solutions to some of today’s complex business problems.
As business leaders, we know it is difficult managing an organization and allocating time to a constant flow of back-office challenges. Hence organizations will have the flexibility of having a conference call or videoconferencing contact once per week with their assigned PBL team and faculty advisor.
Involvement opportunities and benefits are listed below.
INVOLVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY AND PARTNERS:
- The supply of high quality consulting assignments: Participating organizations supply fully scoped high impact projects and supporting data, which the organization needs resolved but cannot undertake currently. WCOB: Provides a qualified student team deeply grounded in the underpinning business theories and faculty selected for their expertise in the project area.
- Corporate and community partners: Management contact person willing to meet with students throughout the semester as needed (manager/ student contact should be at least six times per semester). Meetings may be via audiovisual technology such as Skype, etc. WCOB partner: At least one faculty advisor per student team, the problem-based learning lab director and outside subject matter experts.
- Subject matter experts (SMEs) or practitioners on consulting projects: SMEs would be required to make themselves available to supervise WCOB students on consulting projects.
BENEFITS FOR THE CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS:
- First opportunity to hire from the WCOB PBL program given the organization’s first-hand experience working with WCOB students.
- An increased profile of the organization within the local community (Fairfield County).
- A chance for the organization to get high-quality, cost-effective business solutions for business problems through a network of otherwise costly industry experts.
- The PBL program allows businesses to focus on their key priorities while outsourcing complex back-office analytics and project work
- Ensures quality advice from faculty advisors with significant consulting/business experience.
- Offers dedicated analytical review on key strategic issues.
BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS:
- Brings business school courses to life.
- Teaches integration of key analytical frameworks.
- Provides company recruiters evidence of students’ abilities.
PBL RESOURCES – INFRASTRUCTURE & DATA FEED
The PBL lab will be housed in the new WCOB Financial Technology Center, a state-of-the-art teaching and research center located in the new Welch College of Business building. As the centerpiece of the University’s WCOB, the Financial Technology Center provides first hand exposure to broad business concepts such as operational management, corporate finance concepts, economic research, strategic marketing, risk management and accounting practices.
The facility comprises four major components:
- The PBL facility with 20 state-of-the-art workstations.
- The Financial Technology Center’s trading lab.
- Two breakout rooms for team assignments.
- Executive conference room for meetings.